Today in Russian Business – July 21, 2011

The new law which has ruled that beer is no longer food but is in fact alcohol will dismay consumers, but is also a major concern for Carlsberg, which depends on Russia as its single biggest market. Meanwhile new customs regulations mean that previously inexpensive European wines will see a price hike. Vladimir Putin has announced that foreign direct investment in the Russian economy increased by 39% year on year in January-June 2011, to over $27 billion.  See here an analysis of why investors have a love-hate relationship with Russia.  The increasing reliance of Russia’s budget on oil revenue is one major source of concern, says a Reuters analysis.  RFE/RL reports on the intriguing way in which one business, asset-management firm Arbat Capita, is capitalizing on the uncertainty as to who will run for President.  One thing is for certain, Mr Putin has the vote of AvtoVAZ chief Igor Komarov. This year will be a record year for car production, say PricewaterhouseCoopers.  It appears that French carmaker Renault would second this optimism, anticipating a 40% rise in overall Russian sales to 2.7 million in 2011.