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Today in Russian Business – Nov 5, 2009

Vladimir Putin is ‘surprised’ that the Opel deal (which he had earlier called, ‘one of the first steps that will lead us to a real integration into the European economy’) has fallen through – and said that a legal analysis take place.  ‘I do not think this decision is a manifestation of Rossuphobia in the world economy’ says, more optimistically, the chairman of the State Duma Committee for Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship, Yevgeny Fyodorov.  ‘Good sales figures and a fear that Opel-GM technology could end up in Russian hands, creating a new European rival, persuaded GM to change its position’, says the Times ‘A significant setback for Russia’s plans to build equity relationships with established international companies to help develop strategic industries’, offers the FT.  Carlsberg is reportedly worried about a shrinking beer market in 2010, in particular if Russia sees through its ‘highly illogical’ plan for increasing beer duties.  Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel may use its $521 million stake in Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. as collateral to raise funding.  With oil money seemingly filling the state coffers anew, Russia may apparently be able to slash by half the amount of debt it sells next year.  Renault has reportedly lauded Russia’s $1.87 billion rescue mission for Avtovaz and there are some rumors that the French auto maker may increase its stake.