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Today in Russian Business – June 3, 2010

The Economic Development Ministry expects GDP to grow 3.4% next year with the average price of oil predicted to rise to $75 a barrel.  Prime Minister Putin has apparently told cabinet ministers that Russia will be able to surmount economic problems ‘more actively’ with the rise in the price of oil.  Differing reports on what Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin believes the budget deficit will be; somewhere between 5 and 5.9% of GDP, according to the Moscow Times, less than 4% according to Ria-Novosti.  This week Vauxhall will begin taking orders for an inexpensive car tailor-made for Russian consumers.  Telecoms firm Comstar has beaten its first quarter profit forecast by more than tripling sales.  Megafon will buy local telecoms operator Synterra for $745 million, in an attempt to increase its long distance and broadband business.  Is Russia looking to unseat the US as the world’s top wheat exporter?  Alexander Lebedev is postponing selling his shares in Aeroflot, on the basis that the share price may increase.  Russia is apparently planning to cut US poultry imports by 25%.  The FT looks at Walmart’s ambitions for Russia.  The mysterious case of Sberbank’s biggest shareholder.