Business in Brief

State Plans Grain Subsidies



Russia plans to provide 10 billion rubles ($365 million) in subsidies for grain exports, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said, RIA-Novosti reported.

The subsidies as well as accelerated refunds of value-added tax would allow 10 million tons of grain to be exported, Zubkov said, without providing a timeframe. (Bloomberg)




Banks Lose Licenses



The Central Bank said Thursday that it had withdrawn the operating licenses of Integro bank and Kurganprombank, citing the first bank's lack of capital and the latter's inability to meet creditors' demands.

Depositors of Integro and Kurganprombank will have to apply to the Deposit Insurance Agency to get their money back. (Reuters)




Miners Beg Sechin for Cash



The country's leading coking coal producers have written to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to request government assistance as receivables from steelmakers mount.

The coal producers did not say how much money they would like to receive from the government.

They also requested a variety of temporary privileges including changes to the corporate tax code and special rail tariffs. (Reuters)




Glencore's Russneft Bid



Glencore International, a Swiss oil trader, sought anti-monopoly permission in Germany to buy into Russneft, Interfax reported.

An official with Germany's anti-monopoly service could not specify whether Glencore was seeking a stake or all of Russneft. (Bloomberg)




1/3 of Banks Posted Loss



One-third of Russian banks posted a loss last month amid the country's worst financial crisis in a decade, Kommersant reported, citing Central Bank data.

A total of 288 banks were unprofitable in October, with combined losses of 69 billion rubles ($2.52 billion), the newspaper reported. (Bloomberg)




Novatek Cuts Forecast



Novatek cut its 2008 gas output growth forecast to 8.5 percent because of unseasonably warm weather.

Expected growth of liquids production remains at 10 percent for the year, CEO Leonid Mikhelson said Thursday. (Bloomberg)




Central Bank Warns Banks



The Central Bank on Thursday urged banks not to increase their foreign currency longs in December, in a further measure that could help support the ruble.

The monthly average net long balance positions in each currency should not be higher than for the Oct. 25 to Nov. 25 period, the Central Bank said in a statement, advising organizations with a net short position in foreign currency over that time not to build longs in the final month of 2008. (Reuters)




For the Record



VTB Group plans to lend Alrosa $1.6 billion to help the state-owned diamond mining monopoly refinance debt, Vedomosti said. (Bloomberg)

The VTB-24 said it had a net inflow of deposits totaling 7 billion ($256 million) to 8 billion rubles in November, compared with 2.6 billion rubles in October, retail department director Georgy Gorshkov said, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)