Today in Russian Business – May 14, 2009

The ruble has soared to a four-month high as oil reaches near $60 a barrel.  Is the rally of the Russian stock market on course for a correction?  Russia’s central bank has slashed its main interest rates for the second time in less than a month, and its refinancing rate by half a point to 12%.  Amurmetal, the only steelmaker in Russia’s Far East, is contemplating redundancies of up to 1,600 people, a quarter of its staff, even though at a recent visit Putin assured the plant of a considerable sum in state guarantees.  Russian Railways has made a deal with two Mongolian companies on a joint venture to upgrade railways and to mine coal and copper.  Egypt, the biggest consumer of Russian wheat, has ordered that all Russian imports be seized for examination regarding health concerns.  Russia believes it is an attempt to control prices.  The Italian developer Todini Costruzioni Generali has offered to invest in two housing projects to serve as hotels in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  The BBC is currently taking questions for an upcoming interview with Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov.