Today in Russian Business – Jan 25, 2010

The IMF has predicted the steep appreciation of the ruble; just as the Central Bank is trying to put the brakes on its rapid gains.  Russia’s development bank VEB and Libya’s sovereign fund have apparently bought the most shares in United Co. Rusal’s initial public offering in Hong Kong.  The government of Guinea has taken the aluminum giant to court claiming that it is owed $860 million.  The planned secondary listing of Rusal in Euronext may encourage a flurry of Russian companies to follow suit, suggests the Moscow Times.  A Moscow court has ordered the seizure of an apartment allegedly belonging to exiled billionaire Boris Berezovsky.   Steelmaker Severstal is in talks to sell its Lucchini unit in Italy.  Aeroflot has denied rumors that it is discussing a possible joint airline with Turkish Airlines.  Industrial production grew in December for a second month, to 2.7% from a year earlier, the most since September 2008, says official data.  Russia’s new fast-food venture.  Rolf Co. founder Sergey Petrov has suggested that selling Avtovaz to Renault for $1 would be a ‘blessing’.  Kazakhstan’s National Wellbeing Fund may sell as much as 85% of BTA Bank, the country’s biggest lender, to Russia’s Sberbank.