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Today in Russian Business – July 20, 2010

The Grain Union has dropped its forecast for this year’s crop even further, due to concerns about the effects of the current drought.  If it passes, a new bill to ease licensing restrictions for companies could be a boon to the economy by almost halving the number of company categories required to go through the expensive procedures, says the Moscow Times.  Aeroflot and European plane maker Airbus have struck a deal that could be worth as much as $2.2 billion, with the former agreeing to purchase 11 of Airbus’ A330-300 airplanes: ‘Russian producers cannot offer medium-range planes with fuel efficiency that could match foreign ones.‘  In a boost to Russia’s aviation industry, Sukhoi may sell $951 million worth of Superjet 100s to Kartika.  The Prosecutor General’s Investigative Committee are looking into City Hall’s department of bridge and road construction, as at least $279 million worth of contracts were reportedly signed over to a company owned by the department-head’s wife.  Suleiman Kerimov’s PIK Group and Yelena Baturina’s Inteko are to join forces on the Michurinsky Prospekt housing development.  Investor Viktor Rashnikov has been revealed as the force behind the two unsuccessful building projects, Hotel Rossiya and the Russia Tower.  Russia is offering higher yields than market rates in an attempt to woo investors this year, says Bloomberg