Russia’s Super-Rich Lack ‘Dynastic Will’

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Sept. 21 – Russian entrepreneurs have shown little desire to pass their companies onto their children, according to a survey released on Tuesday by Swiss banking giant UBS and Campden Research.

The research polled 22 businessmen domiciled in Russia who have a net worth of about US$50 million each. The total revenue of the businesses of 14 of the respondents was between US$50 million and US$100 million. In 2011, the survey sampled 19 people in a similar wealth bracket. Continue reading…

Russia’s Grain Crop to be Damaged by Drought

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Jul. 18 – Russian Agriculture Ministry estimates that some 28.3 million hectares of spring sowing and 16.1 million hectares of winter crops all over the country will be damaged by the current drought. That’s 3.4 percent of the total sown area, according to preliminary estimates on the ministry’s website.

Droughts have hit 16 of Russia’s 83 regional areas this year, the ministry said. It is still affecting nine regions including Rostov, Volgograd, Stavropol and Kalmyk Republic in the country’s south, Saratov, Orenburg in the Volga federal district, Kurgan, Chelyabinsk in the Ural area, and Siberia’s Altai region. Continue reading…

Britain’s Virgin Atlantic to Enter Russian Air Market

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Jul. 11 – Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airways will enter the Russian market with daily operating flights between London’s Heathrow Airport and Moscow starting next year, Virgin said on Tuesday. Experts consider the move as positive, but it is unlikely to affect prices.

British Airways was the lone British company to service Moscow until 2006, when British Midland International (BMI) joined the fray. But after a scheduled merger of the two companies takes place, new openings for operating flights will become available.

“The new route [to Moscow] represents its first move in building a broader network including short and mid-haul flying from London Heathrow. Traffic between the two cities has trebled in the last 10 years and demand on the route continues to grow,” Virgin said in a statement. Continue reading…

Cherkizovo and Spanish Grupo Fuertes to Produce Turkey Meat in Tambov

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May 16 – Russian meat firm OJSC said on Saturday that it has set up a 100 million euro joint venture with Spanish company Grupo Fuertes to produce turkey meat in the Tambov region south of Moscow.

The Board of Directors of Cherkizovo approved the joint venture between Cherkizovo Group and Grupo Fuertes on May 10, 2012.

As the company says, it is planned that a complex for the production of turkey meat will be built on a plot of five hectares on the First and Staroyurevskom areas of the Tambov region. Continue reading…

Moscow to Privatize Metro

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May 14 – Moscow City Hall is considering privatizing the city’s metro system to further develop the capital’s infrastructure, according to the project titled, “The Strategy for Socio-Economic Development of Moscow until 2025.”

The document, posted on the website of the city’s economic policy and development department, proposes “attracting private investment from outside the [city] budget for metro system development, including by corporatizing the metro system.”

According to the strategy, the Moscow Metro (now a state-own enterprise) would be run by a private-public partnership “while preserving a controlling stake for Moscow.” Continue reading…

First-Ever Business Angel Week Held in Russia

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May 7 – Investors from all over the world came to the first-ever business angel week in Russia, which started in Moscow but is continuing for a week across 25 regions.

Business angels are investors who not only finance entrepreneurial projects at an early stage and readily risk their own money, but they also support the project with their business experience and contacts. Basically, business angels work in innovative sectors. Continue reading…

Russia Sees Factoring Market Nearly Double in 2011

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Apr. 19 – Russia’s factoring market almost doubled last year, according to worldwide industry statistics for 2011 released this week by Factors Chain International (FCI). The total worldwide volume for factoring grew by 22 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.

Russia’s market factoring turnover totaled 21.174 billion euros, with 20.944 billion euros from the domestic market and 230 million euro made internationally. In 2010, Russia’s total market turnover was 12.163 billion euros. Continue reading…

Sberbank to Buy Austria’s Volksbank

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Feb. 16 – OAO Sberbank closed a US$661 million deal to buy the international arm of Austria’s Volksbank International AG (VBI) on Wednesday.

The Volksbank acquisition will serve as a springboard for further expansion in Europe, RIA Novosti quoted Sberbank CEO German Gref as saying in Moscow.

Russia’s biggest lender bought VBI from Oesterreichische Volksbanken AG, which owned 51 percent of VBI, while France’s Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne and Germany’s DZ Bank/WGZ Bank own 24.5 percent and Groupe BPCE owns the remaining 24.5 percent. Continue reading…

Investors Come Back to Russia

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Jan. 16 – Russia-focused equity funds attracted US$43 million of inflows in the week to January, 11, equaling about 0.4 percent of the total amount under management, UralSib Financial Corp. said in a report, citing EPFR Global Data.

“This is the first week of positive flows in the last eight,” UralSib analyst Slava Smolyaninov said in a report. Continue reading…

Sino-Russian ‘Bad Dates’ and Chinese Relations with ‘Abandonment Child’ of Moscow

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By Marina Romanova

Sino-Russian series of bad dates
Chinese-American international energy consultant Edward Chow once said that the Russian-Chinese energy relationship isn’t a marriage, but rather “a series of bad dates.” As far as their energy relationship goes – also keeping in mind the two rather extreme types of relationship of ‘honeymoon’ (1950s) and ‘divorce’ (1960s and 1970s) between Beijing and Moscow – the whole Sino-Russian strategic partner can be described with this kind of metaphor.

Chinese businessmen and bureaucrats are playing a part in almost every Russian investment round-table and economic forum. And it wouldn’t be too much to say that almost every presentation by Chinese participants contains some words about Russia’s “investment unattractiveness” as one of the main reasons not to invest in the Russian economy. Continue reading…

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