The Russian Avtobank's shareholders approved the bank's 2002 annual report. The bank's net profit amounted to RUR170.3m (about $5.51m), up by a factor of 6 against the year 2001. The bulk of the net profits will go to the reserve fund, Avtobank's Chairman Lyudmila Shabalkina told reporters. Meanwhile, the bank's assets dropped to RUR19.7bn (nearly $637.74m) due to repaying a stabilization credit to the Russian Central Bank. According to Shabalkina, Avtobank is currently holding talks on advanced repayment of the Central Bank's credit. The repayment may be done before the beginning of June 2003. The Chairman noted that in 2003 the bank intended to double its business activities. At present, 76 percent of the bank's stocks are owned by the financial corporation NIKoil, the Izvestia newspaper reported.
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadimi signed an agreement on July 26 to formally end the USA's military presence in the country by the end of the year