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Today in Russian Business – Dec 12th, 2008

Deputy Economics Minister Andrei Klepach has been quoted as saying that, for Russia, the recession has already started, and that Russia’s next two quarters will see economic decline.  Russia devalued the ruble for the fifth time in a month yesterday, and spent $17.9 billion of its international reserves last week.  The ruble is facing its biggest weekly decline against the Euro since 2000.  Russia’s Trade Union Federation predicts 250,000 job losses next year.  Holiday shopping is the one area of spending unaffected by the financial crisis – if anything, people are spending more this year for fear of losing their cash in a collapse, says this report.  Daimler is buying a 10% stake in Russian truck maker Kamaz for a reported $250 million.  News that the US has rejected an automaker bailout plan is negatively affecting the steel sector, with Russia’s Novolipetsk Steel and Severstal already suffering losses.  A Russian businessman has trademarked the emoticon for a wink. 😉