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26 Feb, 2009 08:00

Big tech corporations look for global financing while handing back budget funds

Russian Technologies has admitted it's switching to western financing because Russian bank interest rates are too high. The news came as Parliament backed proposals to slash hi-tech investment.

RusTech's announcement came as it accounted to Duma Deputies for its spending of state funds. CEO, Sergey Chemezov said the local cost of financing was simply too high.

“Loans are the most painful question. Russian interest rates are simply unrealistic. We're now looking in the West, where rates are cheaper.”

While many central bank rates are near zero Russia charges 13%. At that session Deputies approved government spending cuts on technology. They argue hi-tech firms should be curbed because they're scared to invest during the crisis, according to State Duma Deputy, Vladimir Zhironovsky.

“Corporations got a lot. Hi-tech firms are hoarding the billions they received in the last two years. So today they must suffer, and the money given to the needy.”

NanoTech Corp will lend back to the state more than $3.5 billion of its budget. CEO, Anatoly Chubais says that’s despite the need to fund several world-class projects.

“The company aims to make Russia one of the world's nanotech leaders. In the next six months we'll move from sponsoring simple projects to clusters in every sector of Russian industry. By 2015 to boost national nanotech production to $25 billion, a fifth of which will be exports.”

Russia has a budget shortfall of $96 billion for this year. It can afford to fund the deficit from reserves, but the government is also rewriting the budget to plug the gap.