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Today in Russian Business – Jan 17, 2011

Vimpelcom has given its final approval to a revised bid for the telecoms assets of Naguib Sawiris, but Telenor, its key shareholder, continues to oppose the sale.  In line with President Dmitry Medvedev’s decree, the federal government will lose 5% of its staff by late March, with another 5% to go next year.  Microsoft is celebrating a successful year in Russia in terms of revenue, which it attributes to regional growth.  The ruble has made its strongest advance against the dollar since June, and strengthening against its fellow BRIC counterparts, largely on the back of rising oil prices.