Today in Russian Business – July 29, 2009

Magna is pulling out the stops in its bid for Opel by increasing the amount of upfront capital it would pump into the company to €350 million, following criticisms from the German government about the size of cash injections offered by bidders.  Sberbank says it expects a verdict on the bid this week.  Beer manufacturers have pleaded with Putin to rethink a plan to triple beer tax saying it would precipitate the ‘destruction of the industry’.  Avtovaz’s output this year will be 59% less than that of last year.  The New York Times reports that the car manufacturer is contemplating making 27,000 employees redundant to slash costs, reports which the company has denied.   In a move to protect domestic car production, the Industry and Trade Ministry has suggested postponing the introduction of the Euro-4 fuel standard for cars already being sold in Russia.   For Rusal to restructure its foreign debt, it would apparently necessitate the company selling off its stake in Norilsk Nickel.  The Russian Association of Regional Banks has recommended that the ruble by devalued by up to 30% in a one-off move.