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Today in Russian Business – Nov 4, 2009

After months of painstaking negotiations, GM has scrapped the Opel sale on the basis that it was ‘no longer in the best interests of GM, now that the environment for car sales has started to improve’, reports the Independent.  The decision comes just after Opel’s labor force had agreed to contribute $390 million in annual savings.  ‘Management had planned a release saying that they will proceed with Magna, so there must have been a fundamental change of view within the board’, the FT quotes an insider as saying.  The Russian government is planning to raise $1.87 billion to bail out ailing carmaker Avtovaz, most of which will be apparently allotted to bad debts, and some of which will be allocated to modernization and on job creation, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has reportedly announced.  Daimler Trucks will proceed with ‘very low’ investment in its two planned joint ventures with Russia’s truckmaker Kamaz.  Russia’s development bank VEB is in talks on selling its 49% stake in Hungary’s Malev airline back to the Hungarian government, Bloomberg reports.  Vice President of the World Bank, Philippe Le Houerou, has apparently told ITAR-TASS that Russia needs to diversify its economy to ensure economic sustainability in the future.  Major beer brewer Carlsberg has slashed its annual sales forecast, allegedly saying that the Russian market will shrink with the tripling of beer tax.