Today in Russian Business – Jan 26th, 2009

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is calling for a new global financial watchdog to deal with the financial crisis.  The number of unemployed Russians rose by 1 million to 6 million in December.  Car imports through Vladivostok have fallen by almost 95% since this month’s controversial and widely disputed tariff increase.  The Czech PPF Group is writing off a loan to Russia’s Eldorado electronics group, in exchange for 51% of its shares.  State bank VTB, which took a stake in Norilsk Nickel as collateral on a loan, will try to win a seat on the company’s board.  Vneshekonombank will make its second major foreign acquisition this month when it takes over Hungary’s Malev airline.  Read more about former Yevroset (or Euroset) chairman Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who is wanted by the authorities on suspicion of smuggling, kidnapping, and extortion.  Russia is apparently not considering a request for a 100 billion ruble loan from Belarus.  ‘Deripaska’s empire will look like what the government wants it to look like.’