Today in Russian Business – July 14, 2009

Bloomberg reports that Russia’s economy may shrink between 8% and 8.5% this year, with exports plummeting.  The government has approved three economic development scenarios for 2010-12, using the ‘moderate scenario’ as the foundation for budget predictions for the next three years.  The Kremlin has plans to remove the need for foreigners employed in the financial sector to have work permits as it attempts to transform Moscow into a finance hub.   Reports say that General Motors may reach an initial purchase agreement with Magna for GM’s Opel by the end of July.  United Russia looks set to put into action a proposal to send teams of party members to assist ‘struggling socially significant companies.  Russian technologies may be the first firm to benefit.  Bloomberg reports on how agricultural chemicals producer Syngenta may turn to bartering in emerging markets such as Russia.  The Kremlin has fired Sergei Vybornov as head of diamond producer Alrosa, to be replaced by Fyodor Andreyev, deputy head of Russian Railways.  Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies said it will pay $14.77 a share for Facebook common stock, increasing its stake to up to 3.5%.