Today in Russian Business – April 30, 2009

The budget for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been slashed by 25% and, for the first time, foreign companies will be invited to act as sponsors.  Despite suggestions that payouts should be cut, Rosneft will increase its 2008 dividend by 20%.  Deripaska’s van maker LDV has, as predicted, filed for bankruptcy.  GAZ car manufacturing plant will suspend production for one week in May.  Russian silver producer Polymetal, in collaboration with a group of Russian investors, has reportedly bought Highland Gold Mining’s Maiskoye gold deposit for $105 million.  Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant has announced losses of $105 million last year.  Russia’s top cellphone provider MTS and its foreign creditors have agreed on an extension for paying back a $630 million loan.  Russia’s land line company Comstar has offered to buy Synterra for $850 million in equity and cash.  Viktor Vekselberg has said that Rusal may sell its stake in Norilsk Nickel to pay back a $4.5 billion loan to VEB.  Services company AKA Sistema has reported a drop of 96% on last year’s profits.  An article in the Telegraph says that Bernard Madoff-style financial scams are luring in thousands of victims in Russia.