Today in Russian Business – August 7, 2009

In the latest crackdown on the allegedly illegal activities of Telman Ismailov, his Praga restaurant in Moscow has been searched.  Despite ongoing talks, apparently little progress was made between GM and Magna on its bid for Opel.  Problems include: ‘Opel’s involvement with GM’s Chevrolet brand in Russia, intellectual property transfer rights in Russia, access to advanced technology, product development responsibilities, and minority shareholder rights‘ – says the New York Times.  Oleg Deripaska’s En+ group has consolidated its power assets to ensure a stronger grip on its companies, and increase its ability to muster capital.  New regulations for beer advertising are leaving already struggling brewers with a marketing challenge.  A Moscow appeals court has rejected Telenor’s latest attempt to postpone the enforcement of a $1.7 billion fine to Vimpelcom.  The FT looks in-depth at the town of Zlatoust, once a steel-making boom town, now mired in economic difficulties.  Apparently AvtoVAZ will retain a 25-30% market share in Russia in 2009 despite a drop in sales.  In the face of mass protests, the carmaker has purportedly claimed it has no intention to cut jobs, if the ‘market situation stabilizes’.