Today in Russian Business – October 2, 2009

Sberbank has slackened restrictions for individuals seeking loans, after last year’s crisis-driven squeeze on credit.  The government intends to establish a new state holding to oversee Russia’s geological reserves, the Moscow Times reports.  Fertilizer producer Acron has said it may borrow up to $2.2 billion from Sberbank and VTB to finance development.  Gold output has increased by 18.5% year-on-year in the first eight months of 2009.  Daimler is attempting to fortify its share of the Russian market by planning a truck and bus joint venture with Kamaz.  Raiffeisenbank has explained that it had filed to bankrupt media firm RBC, but will withdraw the suit imminently as it hopes to come to a debt restructuring plan for the company.  Russian-Israeli tycoon Arkady Gaidamak has been charged with money laundering and fraud to the tune of $173 million by a court in Tel Aviv.  Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works has asked the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service to approve its attempt to almost double its 40% stake in coal company Belon.  The Economist has a piece on the collapse of the Russian auto-industry which is ‘subsisting on a drip-feed from the Kremlin’.