Today in Russian Business – July 26, 2010

Russia could sell state assets in banks and energy companies worth as much as $29 billion as part of its efforts to boost the budget in the coming years. ‘The biggest companies will be up for sale in such a way that the government keeps controlling stakes,‘ says a Finance Ministry source.  Prime Minster Vladimir Putin has expressed regret over his 2008 attack on the pricing policies of steelmaker Mechel, and praised the company for ‘behaving correctly‘, implying that other steel companies should comply with government wishes if they want to continue receiving support.  Alexei Bayer criticizes the ambitious rhetoric surrounding the construction of the Skolkovo business center.  According to Rosoboronexport, Russia is maintaining a strong position on Libya’s arms market.  If Ukraine sells ruble debt, it could ‘boost Putin’s plan to turn the ruble into a regional reserve currency‘, suggests a VTB analyst.  Russian container shipping firm Far Eastern Shipping Co has sold its 50% stake in the National Container Company for $900 million.  Here’s the Kremlin’s new list of price-capped food items.