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Today in Russian Business – Dec 29, 2009

Vladimir Putin has declared that $700 million will be pumped into upgrading two shipbuilding yards in an undertaking with foreign partners.  The Prime Minister also announced that the government has a $5 billion project for buying up civilian ships.  ‘There was a consensus: It’s going to be bad’: the Moscow Times looks at pessimism reigning among workers in the finance sector regarding 2010.  Apparently Nathaniel Rothschild’s private investment company may buy shares in RusAl’s $2 billion Hong Kong IPO, along with New York hedge fund Paulson & Co.  A company controlled by Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok has been pinpointed by Bloomberg as another possible investor.  According to banks behind the IPO, the troubled company could be worth in the region of $26 billion and may turn over a profit for 2009.  Rusal owner Oleg Deripaska may imminently give oil producer Russneft back to its founder in exchange for the company’s debt.  Engine trouble means no lift off for the Superjet 100.  Could Medvedev’s anti-alcohol drive have some benefits for Russia’s vodka giants?  The Wall Street Journal reports on Russia finally ridding itself of its Soviet-era debt.