Today in Russian Business – July 22, 2010

Two bond auctions yesterday raised $1 billion less than hoped for, as investors called for basis points much higher than those offered and the finance ministry canceled the sale. ‘Russia doesn’t need money at any cost.‘  Russia will start digging into its grain reserves in order to contain food prices and cope with the ongoing drought that is thought to have ruined 9.6 million hectares of this season’s grain.  A hefty fine given to a publisher for copyright infringement is causing a stir in the intellectual property debate.  Even the Russian Constitutional Court is criticising the proposed Gazprom skyscraper, which was due to be built in a historic area of St Petersburg.  Mirax Group, the real estate developer, is the latest company to face huge back tax charges (of $18 million), less than a third of which it acknowledges.  The Russian inventor of the hybrid car technology has reached a settlement with Toyota for its use of his design.  It is estimated that passenger car sales will increase by 15% by year’s end.  Could greater scrutiny of piracy and counterfeiting music increase Russia’s chances with the WTO?