Today in Russian Business – Jan 21st, 2009

Arkady Dvorkovich, the Kremlin’s economic aide, forecasts that the correction of the ruble is at an end, after the currency showed its first signs of stabilizing yesterday.  In response, the central bank has bought foreign currency for the first time in months, but the government is still facing its first deficit in a decade.  The crisis has put a quarter of smaller food businesses at risk.  Oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov has won a defamation case against the Moscow Times, which will have to pay a fine and publish a retraction of a quote by Vladimir Potanin, saying that Prokhorov promised to sell a stake in Norilsk Nickel to him, but in the end, did not.  Prokhorov filed a suit over this quotation because, he thought, it portrayed him as an ‘unreliable partner’.  Roman Abramovich, meanwhile, has launched legal proceedings against London’s Times Newspaper over this article‘s claim that he was looking to sell the Chelsea Football Club.  The recent growth in Russia’s car market could be undone this year, with forecasts of a drop in demand of as much as 50%.  Polymetal is pleased with its 15% increase in gold output.