Today in Russian Business – March 18th, 2009

Is the government looking to raise import tariffs to lessen the influx of foreign goods?  GE Capital is suffering from bad loans in Russia.  Russia’s 30 largest banks reportedly doubled their collective profit in January by speculating on the ruble’s devaluation.  AvtoVAZ needs $753 million to restructure its debt, prompting the government to consider buying a rescuing stake, but the problem is apparently one of flagging demand for domestic cars.  Ford Motor is warning that its Russian sales could halve this year, but Siemens plans to increase its Russian workforce to meet rising demand for power-generating equipment.  ‘Putin and Medvedev don’t care about my money. They’re too busy worrying about their own.’  PIK Group is the latest to reveal being hit by Moscow’s dramatic construction slump.