‘We should admit, in all honesty, that direct government support of the stock market achieved nothing‘, President Medvedev has said in a meeting with politicians from A Just Russia, but Putin’s unified property tax is worth considering. After three years of growth, Russian bank assets have contracted for the second month in a row, and retail deposits have decreased slightly. In April inflation dropped to 13.2%. VTB may buy back shares from minority shareholders who bought them at its 2007 IPO. Sedmoi Kontinent stocks have soared by about 30%, the most in the history of Moscow trading, when it was reported that French retail giant Carrefour had agreed to buy a controlling interest; the company has reportedly signed a preliminary letter of intent to buy 75%. Aspersions are being cast upon Gaz’s attempts to enter a joint venture to buy a stake in Opel: ‘GAZ does not have a single rouble to devote to this right now’. Malaysian vehicle importer Weststar has agreed to a last-minute deal to rescue Oleg Deripaska’s British van maker LDV from administration.