Today in Russian Business – April 29, 2009

Having initially predicted contraction of 3%, Citigroup Inc. now believes the Russian economy will shrink by at least 6.5% this year.  VEB will provide over 300 billion rubles in loans to Russian enterprise over the course of 2009.  The company will also begin to place eurobonds as of next month and may increase the issue to $10 billion.  A Siberian court has rejected a stay motion by Telenor to block the sale of its stake in Vimpelcom.  Oleg Deripaska’s British van maker LDV may well go into administration this week, the Times reports.  Gazprombank reported a loss of $1.8 billion in 2008, the first major Russian bank to do so.  Potash producer Uralkali has announced profits of $653 million, with a 172% increase on last year.  Evraz group saw net profit decrease by 11% in 2008 due to $1.86 billion in write-downs and a problematic fourth quarter for the steel industry.  The company claims that its $9 billion of debt is manageable, and that it is in discussion with lenders.  Milk prices look set to tumble after Unimilk, Russia’s second-biggest dairy manufacturer, announced it would slash prices.