Today in Russian Business – April 28, 2008

Inflation is still a top government concern amid fears that a further spike in costs is on the way. Entertainment prices are also on the rise. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says inflation will not exceed 10% this year. Russia may invest as much as $25 billion from its national wealth fund in overseas equities and corporate bonds starting next year. Oleg Deripaska has indicated that he intends to float United Company RusAL in China rather than London. Following its purchase of 25% of the company last week, RusAl says it will seek to combine with Norilsk Nickel in the next year. Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak, awaiting trial on suspicion of embezzlement, has been stripped of his duties as a deputy governor of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. UPM-Kymmene, Europe’s second-largest papermaker, and Sveza Group, Russia’s largest plywood producer, plan to invest €1 billion ($1.56 billion) in a joint venture to produce pulp, lumber and wood panels in Russia. A Russian rebranding consultant says the country is caught up in a “rebranding fever.