Today in Russian Business – Jan 29, 2010

Divisions at the top on the fate of state banks: Sberbank CEO German Gref has urged the privatization of Russia’s banks, but Alexei Kudrin apparently believes that the markets are not ready yet.  Kudrin has also warned that the global economy may risk tumbling into another crisis.  An analyst at Deutsche Bank has cautioned that investors are ‘underestimating’ the problems Russian banks will face with bad loans and a fall in lending rates.  Chairman of VTB Group, Andrei Kostin, has warned of the dangers of too much regulation in the financial sector.  Russia will reportedly provide Abkhazia loans worth up to $330 million over the next three years.  Apparently the Kremlin may consider a mass resettlement strategy for inhabitants of single-industry towns; the Moscow Times says that Avtovaz employees who have been laid off will be relocated to a plant in the Leningrad region.  Robert Coalson on RFE/RL takes yesterday’s Times article on Alexander Lebedev to task.  Switzerland has fined Russian billionaire Victor Vekselberg a record 40 million Swiss francs for violating disclosure rules when he developed his stake in Swiss industrial group Oerlikon.