Today in Russian Business – April 14, 2008

Russia’s metals oligarchs are feuding over company shares – but at least the disputes are non-violent, points out one journalist. It is being reported that Alisher Usmanov and Vladimir Potanin will try to block Oleg Deripaska from amassing a controlling stake in Norilsk Nickel. Russia will begin placing budget funds among commercial banks to support liquidity in the banking system, says Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin. Banks will be allowed to bid for as much as $25.6 billion) in budget funds. Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin has announced that Russia plans to repay a $3 billion World Bank debt ahead of schedule, using windfall revenue from energy exports, and to halve current World Bank borrowing. Kudrin predicts that the economy will expand faster than initially forecast this year. Israeli food and beverage maker Strauss Group will buy the coffee brands of Cosant Enterprises in Russia and Ukraine for $93 million.