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Today in Russian Business – June 1, 2009

Sberbank, GAZ and Canada’s Magna International have won the bid for Opel; the government has not commented on the sale, although Putin was seen taking his vintage GAZ-21 for a spin.  Bloomberg reports that the deal may deepen ties between Germany and Russia and could ‘fuel suspicion in east Europe‘.  Opel may produce up to 180,000 cars a year in Russia.  British concerns are surfacing about Oleg Deripaska’s involvement in the deal, given his apparent abandonment of van maker LDV.  A poll of economists has said that the financial situation in Russia remains difficult and growth will only return in 2010 with lower inflation and a stable currency.  State telecoms company Svyazinvest may hold an IPO once it has finished its government-approved reorganization.  Russian Railways plans to buy 54 commuter trains from Canada’s Bombardier for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.  The Times looks at the fortunes of the man behind 2% of Facebook, Yuri Milner.  Not exactly cleaning up the image of Russian business, Mikhail Prokhorov has threatened to ‘smash in the faces’ of two business rivals who insulted his sister.