Today in Russian Business – Nov 26, 2009

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin’s comments on Russia’s ‘overheating‘ economy ‘are dragging the market down,‘ says this analyst.  Kudrin also announced that Vneshekonombank, on whose board he sits, will buy a 3% stake in RusAl’s upcoming IPO.  New measures to raise minimum shareholder equity for banks to $35 million over the next six years could wipe out half of the sector.  The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will aid Russia in its plan sell state assets with a series of ‘pre-privatization investments‘ in state companies, to help them restructure and to lure investors with risk capital.  Vladimir Putin has defended the decision to increase pensions, saying that it would stimulate the economy in the long-run: pensioners will have 46% more money in 2010 than they currently do.  Ford Motors announced that it would increase production at its Russia plant in response to new government programmes to support car sales by offering cash for old vehicles.  Russia’s announcement that it would diversify some foreign exchange reserves into Canadian dollars has contributed to a US dollar slump.  There are still few takers for Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal to cut the number of Russia’s timezones.