Mining group Mechel, which has previously had difficulties with the state, is back in the hot seat as a new investigation by anti-monopoly authorities will target it as well as SUEK following complaints from power firms on prices. The Kremlin is currently preparing a $5 billion rescue plan for the country’s lucrative arms export industry. McDonald’s reports sales growth of 7.8% in Russia for November. In early trading, the Russian RTS followed the European rally on news of a stimulus, edging up 7.3% to 632.55. Despite good news in the markets, S&P has “sharply” downgraded Russia’s long-term sovereign credit rating over fears of the rapid depletion of reserves. The ruble, which was allowed to slip again, will face a serious test in December to determine whether the state’s managed devaluation plan is working.