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Today in Russian Business – March 18, 2010

The rise in Russian industrial production has apparently been checked, with growth of 1.9% in February, a sharp drop on January’s 7.8% increase.  Britain’s Office of Fair Trading has ruled that there are no obstacles to businessman Alexander Lebedev’s bid to buy the Independent.  Nestle sales enjoyed a 12% rise last year; the company will attempt to localize production further to obviate the needs for imports.  Coca-Cola Co. is reportedly interested in acquiring Russian juice producer Nidan Juices.  Why Russian Technologies risks having no stake in Aeroflot.  The Moscow Times takes a close look at the problems afflicting Russia’s postal and shipping services.  Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina believes that receipts from privatization could increase to $3.4 billion in 2010 as the value of companies grows.  ‘The medicine for curing nonperforming loans needs to be taken quickly, but not at such a speed that it kills the patient – the country’s banking system‘: such is the prognosis for Russian finance, according to an op-ed in the Moscow Times.