According to this report, Russia is likely to complete talks on its entry into the World Trade Organization by mid-December. Intellectual property laws and restrictions on state support of agricultural producers are just two of the many sticking points in the negotiations, argues Forbes. Bank of Moscow shareholder Vitaly Yusufov has agreed, in principle, to sell his stake to VTB, a move which is of critical importance for the state lender which currently owns 50% of the Moscow bank. Russia may have to increase taxes in 2013 following the presidential elections next year. Soaring temperatures may be a fearful prospect for communities in the Far East, but they will help grain harvesting in most of Russia. Housing developer PIK has seen a surge in cash receipts from the sale of apartments in the first half of the year thanks to higher selling prices and stronger demand. Czech investment group PPF has acquired 164,500 hectares of agricultural land in Russia through the purchase of agricultural company RAV Agro-Pro. Restaurant holding Lite Life, which includes the popular Asian restaurant chain Tanuki, has been subject to police raids over claims of tax evasion. The Moscow Times reports on Canadian businessman George Cohon’s bringing of US brands to Russia, from the end of the Soviet era to the present day.