Medvedev told Chancellor Angela Merkel at their meeting in Sochi that stronger ties could ‘help our economies and people overcome the consequences of this heavy crisis and come out of it even stronger’. Merkel announced that she would welcome Russian investments in Opel, as well as in chipmakers Infineon and Qimonda and the Wadan shipyard. The insolvent shipbuilder is reportedly close to being bought by Russian investor Igor Yusufov. Services conglomerate Sistema has denied media reports that it is negotiating with German chipmaker Infineon about taking an equity stake in the company. Vladimir Putin has instructed politicians that the budget deficit must be less than 7.5% next year. He has also put a price tag on regional housing ( a maximum of $950 per square meter.) Canadian engineering group SNC-Lavalin has announced its purchase of a 48% stake in Russian engineering firm VNIPIneft. Broadcaster Media-One may be cozying up to magnate Alisher Usmanov in search of a partnership to control TV stations all over Russia, after the former’s attempt to create a partnership with Walt Disney was blocked by the government. Kodak has rejected an offer to sponsor a Moscow exhibition celebrating South Ossetian sovereignty.