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Today in Russian Business – August 24, 2009

General Motors advisers are apparently recommending that the company walk away from Magna’s Merkel-backed bid to acquire Opel and instead seek out aid from other European governments to retain control of the unit itself.  ‘Every day counts for workers and for the economic situation’, says the German Chancellor, asserting that a decision is needed ‘urgently’.  Russia’s direct foreign investment fell by the most on record, 45%, in the first six months of the year.  Steel-maker Mechel has said that it plans to place $316 million worth of bonds before 2009 is out.  The stock market has shown resistance to the threat of violence in the Caucasus, says Reuters, despite a Chechen separatist website declaring ‘economic war’ on Russia.  ITAR-TASS reports that a new anti-monopoly law will be put in place to prevent bureaucrats and businessmen from driving prices.  The Times looks at the troubles faced by construction firms in Moscow, including developer Mirax which has fallen into financial stasis, imperiling the paying back of its $242 million debt to Alfa.  Some apparently won’t be sorry to know that the future of Mirax owner and self-professed winner Sergei Polonsky is uncertain.