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Today in Russian Business – Dec 29, 2010

The Elysee may be jubilant, but the New York Times reports that criticism of the recent Russia-France Mistral deal is mounting.  Apparently PepsiCo plans to invest around $1 billion in Russia’s Wimm-Bill-Dann drinks company over the next five years.  According to Bloomberg, Norilsk Nickel has abandoned plans to buy a 25% stake in the company from Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal.  VTB Group has plans to increase profit by an ambitious 60%; the Prime Minister has some unconventional advice on how to achieve this aim.  The Audit Chamber has declared that $7.7 billion earmarked for the development of Moscow’s chaotic transportation infrastructure has been misspent over the past three years.  Russia’s committee on foreign investments has denied a request by an Iranian company to purchase a shipping port on the Volga River in Astrakhan, citing sanctions.  Putin’s plans for bringing ‘smart’ money into Russia.