Tag Archive for Business

U.S. sanctions may spur economy reforms in Russia – business ombudsman

Boris Titov file photo

(Interfax – April 15, 2014) New U.S. sanctions against Russia may impact the global economy but may in the end stimulate economic reforms in Russia, businessmen’s rights commissioner Boris Titov said. “Of course, we would like to avoid sanctions. Money loves tranquility that is why the economy can develop only when international relations in the

Most Russians Support McDonald’s Closures, Poll Says

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 15, 2014) Liberal Democrat Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s call to close all McDonald’s restaurants in Russia received a lot of media attention, and a recent poll shows that most Russians would be glad to see the back of the fast food chain. Sixty-two percent of respondents support the closure

Major Companies Boost Corruption Fight With Help of New Law

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – April 11, 2014) Large companies in Russia are taking vigorous steps against corruption under the threat of prosecution abroad, even as the domestic legal system veers between stern threats and erratic enforcement. The issue came to a head Wednesday as multinational IT company Hewlett-Packard’s Russian subsidiary pleaded

Burger King Denies Plans to Expand Into Crimea

Ukraine Map and Flag

  (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 11, 2014) Burger King Worldwide reached out Thursday to quash reports that the fast food chain’s Russian franchise operator would expand to Crimea, which Russia recently annexed from Ukraine. On Wednesday, Burger King Russia CEO Dmitry Medovy told news agency Itar Tass: “We are planning to open in

Burger King Expands Into Crimea After McDonald’s Exit

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 10, 2014) U.S. fast food giant Burger King plans to expand its chain into Crimea, filling the vacuum left when McDonald’s pulled out of the peninsula last Friday, citing unspecified supply issues. Burger King currently has no outlets in Crimea, which has been at the center

RIA Novosti: Capital Outflow from Russia Due to Ruble Rate, Not Crimea

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

BERLIN, April 10 (RIA Novosti) – The outflow of capital from Russia is not tied to events in Ukraine, but to fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Thursday. “The outflow of capital is not mainly tied to Crimea, the outflow, of course, is connected with

German Companies Remain Supportive of South Stream Gas Pipe

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – April 7, 2014) While Russia’s standoff with the West over Ukraine may have caused Italian energy group Eni to distance itself from the huge South Stream gas pipeline project linking Russia to Central Europe, partners from Germany, which is highly dependent on Russian gas, have stayed faithful.

Housing and High Wages Will Stop Russian ‘Brain Drain’ – Russian Official

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – New housing incentives and high wages will help prevent young Russian scientists from leaving the country, a Russian official said Wednesday during a meeting of young scientists in Siberia. “I think that we should create better conditions so that our young scientists are motivated to build their career here

Sex, lies, intrigue and everything you wanted to know about Russian corporate culture

Empty Boardroom

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dan Pototsky, RBTH – March 31, 2014) RBTH has collected data from the largest Russian recruiting companies, spoken with employees of a range of corporations with different outlooks and made a list of the main distinctions of Russian corporate culture. Note on Russian office culture: The idea that

Russia to Privatize Additional 431 Companies Through 2016

Empty Boardroom

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 1, 2014) The Cabinet approved a plan to privatize an additional 431 companies through 2016, according to a document published on the government’s website Monday. About 20 percent of Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, the Russian Lottery, and multiple scientific-research, construction, and agricultural facilities are up for sale, in addition

Moscow restaurants impose “entry ban” on Obama

File Photo of Barack Obama Sitting at Desk with Mike McFaul Standing Next to Him Facing Him

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) – Moscow restaurants are introducing sanctions against U.S. President Barack Obama. Notices saying an “entry ban” has been imposed on Obama have been put up at the entrances to Dolma restaurants in central Moscow, an Interfax correspondent reported. The manager of a Dolma restaurant, Lasha Churgulia, said that, “the ban only

TRANSCRIPT: Putin at Congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – March 20, 2014) Vladimir Putin took part in the annual congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The topics on the congress’ agenda include de-offshorisation of the economy, making business more transparent, enhancing labour productivity, improving labour legislation, and creating a better investment climate. During the congress, representatives from the Agency

Navalny Proposes Sanctions List to the West

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 20, 2014) Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently under house arrest in connection with a criminal case against him, has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he calls for sanctions on officials and businessmen connected to President Vladimir Putin. Saying that previous U.S.

U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Politically Connected Tycoons

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – March 20, 2014) The White House has thrown some light on who may be next in line to feel U.S. wrath over Crimea’s breakaway from Ukraine: businesspeople close to the Russian government. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. will add bite to its current sanctions

Intellectual Property Rights Case Load Overwhelming Fledgling Court

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – March 12, 2014) Overworked and understaffed, Russia’s fledgling Intellectual Property Rights Court is watching nervously as its case load continues to climb. “Compared to analogous courts in Europe, we have a very high case load … and an increase in workload leads to the risk of a

Politics trumps & thumps economics

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer, Macro-Advisory – March 11, 2014) “Sanctions and boycotts would be tied to serious political dialogue” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi We have cut our growth forecast to 1% for 2014, and revised some other macro forecasts partly because of the uncertainty and disruption caused by the Ukraine

Investigative Committee to Crack Down on Corruption During Coming Privatization

Empty Boardroom

(RIA Novosti – February 27, 2014) The head of the powerful Investigative Committee said Thursday that preventing corruption during a planned privatization of state assets will be a top priority for his agency this year. The government recently announced plans for an ambitious three-year program running up to 2016 to privatize a wide array of

Emerging middle class delays major purchases; lots of catchup left

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – February 27, 2014) [Charts here

Economic Crime Afflicts Over Half of Russian Companies

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 24, 2014) More than 60 percent of Russian companies say that they have been victims of economic crimes like bribery, a report said. Worldwide, the incidence of fraud is much lower, with 37 percent of companies having come into contact with it, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers released late

NEWSLINK: Fast food conquers Russia, brings obesity

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

["Fast food conquers Russia, brings obesity" - ITAR-TASS - Lyudmila Alexandrova - February 18, 2014 - http://en.itar-tass.com/opinions/1676] ITAR-TASS tries to blame McDonald’s for Russian obesity: Russia’s first McDonald’s fast food restaurant opened on downtown Moscow’s Pushkinskaya Square in late January 1990, causing unprecedented buzz among Muscovites who formed a multi-kilometer line to taste American fast

Privatization deals could begin in Q2 2014 – Dergunova

Empty Boardroom

GORKI. Feb 17 (Interfax) – Large-scale privatization deals could begin in the second quarter of 2014, the head of the Russian Federal Property Agency (Rosimushchestvo) Olga Dergunova told journalists on Monday. “Agents will be best prepared for deals such as that of Sovcomflot in the second quarter. We will answer questions concerning the deal’s structure

Large investors, alumni of Russian universities to enjoy easier naturalization – newspaper

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

MOSCOW. Feb 12 (Interfax) – The Federal Migration Service and the Economic Development Ministry have drawn up a law, which facilitates naturalization of foreign citizens, Kommersant wrote on Wednesday. The simpler naturalization procedure will be primarily granted to businessmen who invest at least ten million rubles in Russia and foreign alumni of Russian colleges and

Big Companies Cutting Staff in Gloomy Economy

Empty Boardroom

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Yezhova – February 12, 2014) A slew of announced layoffs is rattling the domestic labor market, threatening to further undermine a weak economy. Russia’s two largest banks, state-owned Sberbank and VTB, have joined the country’s biggest carmaker, AvtoVAZ, in declaring significant staff reductions in the upcoming months. VTB Group

Winners and Losers in Russia’s Shrinking Car Market

Moscow Traffic file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – February 10, 2014) Renault Russia sales chief Sergei Kuteishchikov had to shave his head last month, having lost what seemed a sure bet. He gambled that in 2013′s declining market, his dealers would beat the previous year’s sales results, but not by much. A recent message he

RIA Novosti: Russia’s Top Satellite Company Drops Liberal Dozhd TV Channel

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s major satellite provider stopped broadcasting Dozhd independent television channel Monday after the network became embroiled into a controversy over an opinion poll about World War II. Tricolor TV, Russia’s biggest satellite TV provider, said a week ago that its board of directors had unanimously decided to exclude the

Russian retail lending may be hitting a growth ceiling

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Natalia Orlova, special to RBTH  - February 5, 2014) While developed economies face the need to deleverage, emerging markets still have the opportunity to grow by taking on more debt. Natalia Orlova is the Chief Economist at Alfa Bank in Moscow. While developed economies face the need to

Interfax: Medvedev orders analyzing relocation of HQs of some state-own companies, government bodies to Far East – deputy PM

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered analyzing the possibility of relocating the main offices of a number of major companies partly or wholly owned by the state and a number of federal government bodies to the Far East, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and presidential envoy to the Far Eastern

Russian start-ups hungry for risk, reward

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – January 31, 2014) Entrepreneurship has become an object of intense focus in Russia since the crisis of 2008-2009, as debates continue over the pace and the progress of economic diversification. The expansion of business accelerators and technoparks across the country has indicated the interest in fostering small

Chubais Unveils New-Look Rusnano

Anatoly Chubais file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 30, 2014) Anatoly Chubais, known in the West as the driver of post-Soviet privatization, is counting on his reputation and corporate savvy to attract external investors to Rusnano – the state-owned technology company he has run since its inception in 2007. Chubais outlined the company’s restructuring

Minister Plans Accelerated Privatization

File Photo Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2014) Improvements in the stock market mean that the privatization of several large state corporations can be accelerated, and the sale of 19 percent of the country’s largest oil firm Rosneft can be fast-tracked to this year, Economic Development Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev said. Stakes in Rosneft, Aeroflot, shipyard

Medvedev Proposes Officials Return to State Company Boards

Empty Boardroom

GORKY, January 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that government officials should be appointed to the boards of state-owned companies, in an apparent reversal of a signature reform he carried out during his presidency. “Civil servants should be [on the boards of directors of state-owned companies] in a sensible quantity

Number of New Companies Set Up in Russia Grew 3.3% in 2013

Empty Boardroom

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 24, 2014) The number of newly established Russian companies grew last year while the number of companies ceasing operations decreased, data has shown. According to statistics on the Federal Tax Service website, 411,900 new commercial enterprises were included on the state registry in 2013 ­ an increase of 3.3

Business Unimpressed by Khodorkovsky Release

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 24, 2014) Two international business forums covering Russia this month have appeared oblivious to former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s recent release from jail ­ evidence that the drawing of a line under his politically tinged case hardly had an effect on the country’s investment climate. The

Davos to Raise Awkward Questions

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 20, 2014) Russian delegates at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos could have to field uneasy questions about the country’s economic slowdown at a time when Western economies are regaining their confidence. Russia’s economic aid to Ukraine is also likely to surface during discussions at

Russia makes slow progress in improving economic freedom

Empty Boardroom

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – January 17, 2014) Russia is making slow progress in improving economic freedom, according to the “2014 Index of Economic Freedom” report released January 15 by the conservative US think-tank, the Heritage Foundation. Since reassuming the presidency in 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin has launch long-delayed structural reforms to make

Russia boosts oil output 1% in 2013

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – Russia’s oil and gas condensate output grew 1.0% year-on-year to 523.276 million tonnes (10.508 million barrels a day) in 2013, the Central Dispatching Department of the Fuel and Energy Complex (CDU TEK) said. Russia produced 44.964 million tonnes of oil in December, with the average daily produce of 10.632 million

Prosecutors sanction over 500,000 requests for inspecting businesses in 2014

Empty Boardroom

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has declined nearly half of a total of over 1 million requests from controlling agencies on inspecting small and medium-sized businesses in 2014, which makes nearly half of all such requests, the office reported on its website on Thursday. “In line with the law on

Billionaire Usmanov Still Russia’s Richest Man


(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 6, 2014) Alisher Usmanov retained his title as Russia’s richest businessman in 2013 with a net worth of $20.2 billion, according to a Bloomberg ranking of the world’s 200 wealthiest persons. Usmanov, whose fortune grew by $1.3 billion last year, qualified as the world’s 36th richest person in the

Exxon Russia Ambitions Show Oil Trumps Obama-Putin Spats: Energy

Polar Bear on Ice, Looking Back at Camera

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman – January 2, 2014) As Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin argue over human rights in Russia and the fate of fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the countries’ biggest oil companies are preparing to drill for giant discoveries together in the Arctic Ocean. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US) and OAO

Interfax: Ombudsman: Khodorkovsky pardon unlikely to have much effect on Russian business

Boris Titov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) – The Russian president’s commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights has argued that President Vladimir Putin’s pardoning former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky last week is unlikely to exercise any serious effect on business in Russia. “Of course, for Russian business it is not a big but a positive piece of news. However, this

Russian Corporate Management Culture Differs in Priorities from Global Peers

Empty Boardroom

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 20, 2013) Nine of out ten employees of the world’s most successful companies say that their supervisors are encouraging staff to focus on work effectiveness, while less than half of Russian companies’ top managers do so, a survey released Friday showed. The “best companies for leadership” annual survey by

OUTLOOK 2014: Russia’s growth model runs out of steam (excerpt)

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 20, 2013) [Full text with charts here http://www.bne.eu/story5634/OUTLOOK_2014_Russias_growth_model_runs_out_of_steam] bne: this report is in three parts. See the end of the page for links to the rest. Overview * Economic overview 2013 was a annus horribilis for Russia. Indeed, it was probably the worst

New AmCham chief still feels Russia’s pull

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – December 18, 2013) It was more than business that pulled banker Alexis Rodzianko to Russia in 1995. Eight decades earlier, his great-grandfather had chaired two sessions of the pre-Revolutionary Duma and conducted abdication negotiations with Tsar Nicholas II. Now Rodzianko had competing job offers between New York,

RIA Novosti: Top Russian Companies Pledge to Reduce Offshore Dependency

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) ­ Several top Russian companies have announced plans to reduce their use of offshore holding structures after President Vladimir Putin repeated calls for “deoffshorization” last week, according to a Russian newspaper report Thursday. Aluminum producer Rusal, telecoms giant MTS, truck maker Kamaz, state-owned hydroelectric conglomerate RusHydro and iron ore miner

Novi Russky RIP

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – December 18, 2013) Russian joke from the 1990s: Two Novy Russkis (New Russians) meet on the street. “Nice tie. How much did it cost?” the first asks the second. “Its Hermes. It cost a $100!” answers the second. “You’re crazy! I know where you

Interfax: Evidence collection for third Yukos case started directly after 2nd conviction – source

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – Investigative procedures in the so-called “third Yukos case” started two weeks after the second sentence was handed down on former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. “Two weeks after Khodorkovsky and former top manager Platon Lebedev were sentenced, i.e. in the beginning of 2011, the police started to collect evidence for the

Five Stories From Put-Upon Small Business in Moscow

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – December 18, 2013) Before Mayor Sergei Sobyanin came to power in 2010, Guram Bolkvadze, a businessman from Georgia, owned 24 kiosks at bus stops across Moscow. Then one day, he was given just a few hours to get his goods out of the shops before the bulldozers

Caught in the Bear Trap: why Russia never grows

Empty Boardroom

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – December 17, 2013) Below find the link to a new paper from academics Clifford G Gaddy and Barry W Ickes, the men that brought us the term “virtual economy” in the 1990s the defining idea of the Yeltsin-era. In this new paper the thesis is that Russia suffers from

Interfax: No drastic shift in Russia’s business climate made so far – presidential aide

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – December 16, 2013) Russian presidential aide on economic issues Andrey Belousov has said that the efforts aimed at improving Russia’s business climate have so far not led to a breakthrough, the privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 16 December. “The euphoria we felt due to [Russia's] advancement in the Doing Business ranking

Russian CEOs Cautiously Optimistic About Future Growth, Study Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 13, 2013) Chief Executive Officers from Russian companies are generally upbeat about the current state of Russia’s economy, but a large proportion have only moderate expectations for its future development prospects, a study conducted by executive search firm Stanton Chase International found. Over 85 percent of the survey’s participants

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