Today in Russian Business – August 31, 2009

French car manufacturer Renault says that it supports the changes in management at Avtovaz, which should solder the links between the car manufacturer and Russian Technologies.  Igor Komarov has replaced Boris Alyoshin as the company President.  Telenor is making a second appeal against the fine imposed on it for not voluntarily paying a $1.7 billion fine in damages to Vimpelcom.  ITAR-TASS informs us that Russian citizens owe more than 150 billion rubles to banks.  The poverty rate has reached 17.4% in the first quarter, or a total of 24.5 million people.  Whilst statistics have shown soaring profits for retailers such as Magnit and X5, the Moscow Times suggests that overoptimism may be misplaced.  ‘Mind boggling’ is how an op-ed contributor in the Moscow Times describes Russia’s plan to buy a $1 billion French Mistral, when its domestic shipbuilding industry is in desperate need of new investment.  Manufacturing may be on the mend, reports Bloomberg, as external demand recovers.  The Kremlin may sell $2 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia which would make the Arab state the biggest importer of Russian weapons.