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Today in Russian Business – Dec 3, 2009

The new Sochi Winter Olympics logo is ‘clean, forward-looking, transparent — everything that perhaps Russia should be, but isn’t. But hey, that’s branding.‘  The Finance Ministry has proposed to limit significantly the practice of using offshore companies to minimize tax payments.  Reuters is running a factbox on key players in Russia’s retail sector as service industries exhibited a fourth month of growth, despite suffering setbacks from unemployment and slow bank lending.  Italy’s Fiat may team up with Russia’s Sollers to make cars and commercial vehicles in Russia.  A deal between Peugeot and Mitsubishi could ease some of the troubles stemming from the collapse of Russia’s automobile market.  Aeroflot denies reports that it is struggling to keep afloat.  Russian Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina has lamented the lack of investment coming into Russia: ‘unfortunately we do not see any positive signs‘.  RusAl is finally coming to the end of the year-long debt restructuring, involving a reported 72 banks, to ready it for an IPO in Hong Kong this month.  The Federal Labor and Employment Service says that 120,000 formerly unemployed Russians will have started their own businesses by the end of the year.