may survive, but other firms are likely to be absorbed by one of the majors. NOTES

Budget through parliament: The Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, approved the budget March 12. President Yeltsin is expected to sign it into law by March 25.

Interest rates fall: The Central Bank has cut the benchmark refinancing rate from 36% to 30%, The rate had been raised to 42% in February to strengthen the ruble and ward off a speculative attack on the currency.

Growth forecast: First Deputy Prime Minister