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Today in Russian Business – July 1, 2009

Norilsk Nickel shareholders have voted to invite a state representative, Vasily Titov, deputy chairman of state-run VTB Group, to their board, to give the company additional support during the crisis.  Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin has recommended the government consider nationalization of crisis-hit industries to alleviate social tensions.  Four minority shareholders of High River Gold Mines have asked the company to reject Severstal’s offer of 19 US cents per share, saying that the Russian steelmaker should raise the bid fivefold.  GAZ Group, the main employer in the Nizhny Novgorod region, will make around 6,500 people from its main production site redundant.  A high-ranking executive at ratings agency Fitch says that Russian banks will need $20 billion to $80 billion in extra capital this year.  The Magna-Opel deal is said to be in jeopardy as GM Europe has announced it is talking to other potential buyers for its Opel unit.  In a surprise move VEB used its 3.7% stake in Norilsk Nickel to help elect billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s candidate to the board of the mining giant.  Russia’s former telecom minister, Leonid Reiman, will return to the state service as the chairman of Svyazinvest.