Today in Russian Business – Oct 20, 2009

Gazprom’s plan to build a 400-meter skyscraper in St. Petersburg is reportedly causing a government split, with many ministers stepping up vocal opposition to the tower.  Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev wants state-controlled companies and banks to limit their foreign borrowing, as fears that lack of funds could drive pre-crash practices that could hamper the road to recovery. It is expected that the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will receive over $1 billion of sponsorship money, having reportedly raised $850 million thus far from just seven sponsors.  Endemol, the television company behind Big Brother, has announced its first third party distribution deal in Russia.  Despite having received $853 million in emergency loans from the government and made heavy job and salary cuts, AvtoVAZ may be forced to file for bankruptcy.