Today in Russian Business – May 13, 2009

Russia may allow the ruble to strengthen at least another 6.7% against its exchange rate basket as the country moves towards free floating the currency before its 2011 target.  Bloomberg features a video interview with Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank.  Oleg Deripaska’s holding company Basic Element has denied that it is looking for a buyer for its construction wing, Glavstroi.  ‘We have long said that we want to attract a partner for some of our businesses, and we might consider the sale of certain specific projects’.  GAZ has confirmed that it is interested in creating a joint venture with Magna and Opel, although the company has suggested it is not actively involved in the bidding.  If the deal goes ahead, GAZ has said that it would produce Opel cars in Russia in a new ‘high-tech production facility’.  Minority shareholders in GAZ have asked that they be informed clearly of any potential returns from the deal.  Sales of new cars dropped by 53% in April.  Sales from Russia’s food giant Magnit increased by 34% in the same month