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Economic News in Review, August
10 September 2008
Economic News in Review, August

Economic News in Review
for August, 2008

The following resource is meant to quickly introduce the reader to some of Russia's major business news for the month. Please note that we strive to focus on more specific, less-well-covered issues. This news review is developed in conjunction with The School of Russian and Asian Studies, which also produces several other reviews ("obzori") each month.

Please note that this month's edition is intended as a supplement to the accompanying USRCCNE newsletter. To subscribe to this newsletter, input your email address on our homepage (in the bottom left corner).



Russia’s GDP Grew 7.9 Percent in 7 Months
Russia’s GDP grew 7.9 percent in the first seven months, RIA Novosti reported with reference to Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina.

Moscow Wealth Eaten Up by Inflation
For the first time in recent years, real income of the population went down in Moscow and in four other regions of Russia.

Rosstat Found Overheating Economy
Data published yesterday by Rosstat show the Russian economy is continuing to slow down.

Mid-Class Widened to 1/3
The number of families with annual income of above $20,000 grew to 17.3 million in the first half-year (up 45 percent vs. 2007)

IMF Spotted Overheat Signs in Russia
Russia’s macroeconomics has the signs of overheat, the International Monetary Fund warned in its special report released after meeting with the country’s government.

Summer Surge in Import Made the CBR Apprehensive
Of all statistics, the indicators of Russia’s foreign trade in August are, perhaps, the most expected data.

Stagnation Retreated
Russia’s industrial output stepped up 4.7 percent in August vs. 3.2 percent in July and just 0.9 percent in June.

Bank of Russia Appreciated Inflation
The actions taken to sort out liquidity crisis make it more difficult for the Central Bank of Russia and the cabinet to tackle the key mid-term economic problem – high inflation.

CBR Showed Extent of Turmoil
According to the CBR, the government’s foreign exchange assets narrowed by $37 billion from August 1 to September 12.


Automotive and Machinery

Doninvest Moves into Ossetia
The Doninvest Group may build its third auto assembly plant in Russia, this one in North Ossetia.

Mordashov Splits Power Machines
Alexey Mordashov has raised his share in Power Machines to 63 percent and split his package. Otherwise, he would have had to buy Power Machines shares from the minority holders with a 9-percent premium over the market price.

Automobile Consortiums Accelerated in Russia
Global car giants have confirmed significance of Russia’s market at the Moscow International Motor Show by presenting the newest models and declaring the sales surge of 30 percent to 40 percent on average.

Automobile Market Applies the Brake
The global automobile industry might lose the last hope for surmounting the crisis. The car sales didn’t go up in the better part of the BRIC nations in August.

Germans May Make Trucks in Bryansk
The German MAN concern may building a truck assembly plant in Bryansk Region.



Advertising Campaign Cashes In on Medvedev
The ad campaign makes Igor Medvedev, the head of the Igor Medvedev International Health Care Center, one of the first businesspeople to tap into President Dmitry Medvedev's name to try to attract business.

Russian Ad Agencies Rated
The turnover of the 23 largest companies grew by 22 percent in 2007 and exceeded $4 billion.

Russian Internet Ad Goldmine
The ten largest advertisers on the Russian Internet spent more than $260 million in the first half of the year.

Advertising Market Slowing Down
For the first time since 2000, the Russian advertising market grew only 20 percent in the first half year, compared to 24 percent last year.


Agriculture, Food and Beverage

Finns Buy Russian Meat Processor
The Finnish Atria group has bought 100 percent of the Kampomos Meat Processing Plant for ˆ75 million. This is the Finnish company’s second acquisition on the Russian food market after Pit-Produkt in St. Petersburg.


Russia Hopes Once Again to Be the Bread Basket of Europe
"The opportunity for agriculture in Russia is remarkable," said Sid Bardwell, general manager in Russia for Deere, the U.S. agricultural equipment supplier. "It has the potential to be one of the truly key sectors of the economy."

Russian move to state trading in grain will send negative signal
Your report "Russia to seize grain export controls" (August 1) marks a retrograde step by the Russian authorities in managing their grain economy from three perspectives.

Grain equal to gas?
The intention of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture to transform its Agency for the Regulation of Food Markets (AFM) into a major Russian grain trader has caused an inordinately stormy reaction in the West.


Russia Again Patrols Fishing Waters
The Russian Federal Fisheries Agency will begin fish conservation patrols in the northwestern Atlantic, restoring Russia’s presence in that industrial area after almost 20 years.

Fish Investors Are Welcome
Russia’s fish farms will become joint stock, said First Vice Premier Viktor Zubkov.


Fortune Frowns on Stoli
Major American alcohol company Fortune Brands, considered the main contender for the brand, declined to sign a contract for the distribution of the vodka in the United States due to the “unclear status of the brand’s owner.”

U.S. Wine Major Coming to Russia
Constellation Brands, the largest producer and seller of wine in the world, will register a subsidiary in Russia. The American company intends to spend $2.4 million annually on advertising on the local market.


Govt to Replace U.S. Poultry by Agrarian Subventions
First Vice Premier Viktor Zubkov will announce new agricultural subventions of 21 billion ruble a year today. A portion of money will go for poultry support.

Agriculture Ministry Named Symbols of Agrarian Sovereignty
The RF Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeev named three groups of farming products, for which Russia will probably endeavor to terminate liberal import agreements entered into in time of the WTO negotiations.

Russia Cut Import of U.S. Poultry
Russia excluded 19 enterprises of the U.S. from the list of poultry importers starting from September 1, 2008. The given reason was poor quality of the product.



Kingship In Austrian Airline
Russia’s second S7 Airlines is eyeing 42.75 percent in the state-run Austrian Airlines. Aeroflot first intended to bid for it as well but abandoned the idea.

Putin Keeps Aviation on Its Toes
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a session dedicated to the civil aviation industry yesterday in Ulyanovsk.


The Flight Weather
The collapse of AiRUnion resulted in the biggest consolidation of Russia's aircraft assets. Based on AiRUnion and on the assets of a few other airlines, government-run Rostekhnologii is creating a new air carrier that will be by third bigger than Aeroflot.

AiRUnion Sank Into Air Pocket
By banning the airlines of AiRUnion from selling tickets for winter season, Rosaviatsia has signaled that AiRUnion will probably cease to exist in November.

KrasAir to Have Fuel at Double Price
Krasnoyarsk Airlines (KrasAir) has failed to sort out problems with jet fuel suppliers in its deport airport of Emelyanovo in Krasnoyarsk.

Rostekhnologia Can’t Manage AiRUnion
Rostekhnologia made its first statement since the daylong delay in AiRUnion airlines at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow. It is blaming the crisis entirely on the management of the aviation alliance.

Flight Delays Continue Nationwide
The AiRUnion alliance of airlines continues to experience problems.

Sky Express License in Danger
The AiRUnion crisis has spread to Sky Express.


Banking and Credit

Corporate Money Flowing Out of Sberbank
Sberbank earned 40 percent more than a year before in the first seven months of this year. At the same time, the outflow from the clients’ accounts was the record maximum in July.

Sberbank Dips to Below 50% Market Share
It intends to fight for its market share not by raising interest rates, but by improving customer service.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Breaks Nets
Renamed to the Royal Bank of Scotland July 21, once Russia’s bank ABN Amro closed yesterday three offices in Moscow and an office in St. Petersburg.

The USSR Will Be Debt-Free Soon
The Russian Finance Ministry announced the final date yesterday for applications to exchange the commercial debt of the former USSR for Russian Federation Eurobonds. That deadline is 6:00 p.m. October 15, 2008.

Banks Insured against Deposits
Of the three banks that lost their licenses and have taken advantage of their right to be readmitted to the deposit insurance system after a two-year hiatus, only one of them is receiving deposits from the public.

Rosbank Offers Uncompetitive Interest
Rosbank lowered its interest rates on all ruble accounts available to the public by 1 percent at the end of last week, leaving its rates uncompetitive.

Central Bank Goes Gangbusters after Third of All Bank Licenses
The Central Bank of Russia intends to purge the market of unscrupulous organizations that it has been unable to delicense so far.

Search in Offices of Bank’s Lawyers
Hermitage Capital has issued press release on the searches in Moscow law offices that represent its interests and those of HSBC bank.

Bank Wins $330 Mill. in Suit v. Cuba
The bank can now legally seize assets.

Russia Is One of 10 Biggest Creditors of the U.S.
The RF share in the U.S. state debt was 2.5 percent ($65.3 billion) as of June 30, 2008.


Central Bank Reduces Systemic Risks
Standard & Poor’s rating agency announced yesterday that it has lowered Russia’s banking industry country risk in reaction to the Central Bank’s support for the banking system during the financial crisis in mid-2007.

Crisis Hasn’t Affected Russia’s Sovereign Score
Moody’s Investors Service commented on the situation on Russia’s financial markets. So far, the crisis hasn’t undermined the country’s sovereign score that is still at Baa1.

Fitch Won’t Change Russian Rating
The Fitch rating agency does not expect changes in Russia’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default rating. That rating is currently BBB+.


Russian Banking Reform Has Enemies
Bank reform is moving slowly in Russia because of resistance from influential circles whose interests are involved.

Russian MP Has Dirt on Western Banks
The deputy leader of the United Russia faction in the Duma has declared that Russia should shed its “excessive piety” toward Western banks in light of the bankruptcy of Lehmann Brothers Holdings.

Neither to Borrow Nor to Lend
Despite acute shortage of money, the banks are narrowing limits on the interbank market of crediting and certain banks are unable to meet liabilities.

Finance Minister Offers Money to Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank
Russia’s Finance Ministry will propose to the RF Sberbank, VTB Bank and Gazprombank to raise federal budget’s funds to the deposits with the term of above three months.

Putin Sees Stability Ahead for Russia
The Russian Finance Ministry will provide banks with 350 billion rubles in temporarily free budget funds to support banks’ liquidity. A similar sum is expected to be made available at auction as direct one-day REPO.

Bank Crisis Went to Law
The financial collapse in Russia has resulted in the record growth in the number of bank suits.

Neither Loans Nor Construction
Russia’s developers are pulling out of projects at large. Mirax Group has pledged not to launch new construction projects or acquire new sites during for a year,

State Moves to Save Banks
The Russian Finance Ministry and Central Bank have taken emergency measures on the behalf of the country’s banks. They are promising to make 1.5 trillion rubles available to Sberbank, VTB and others.

Military Action Rocks the Banking System and Stock Market, For a While
The continuing conflict between Russia and Georgia led to a plunge in the Russian stock market. The situation has already led to a liquidity shortage in the Russian banking system.

Clients Don’t Pay Back to VTB 24
Distracted by business promotion, VTB 24 faced the 3-fold growth in the overdue repayment of consumer credits.

Central Bank to Have a Dig at Mortgage
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) focused on the mortgage loans market of the country, ordering banks to report in detail about the quality of given loans, arrears and sources to refinance the credit portfolio.

Credit Requirements Tightened
The Central Bank of Russia intends to set stricter requirements for rating credit. It holds that banks are demanding too little collateral relative to the credit risks.


Communications, Technology, Media

Central Partnership Teams Up with Paramount
Subsidiary of Vladimir Potanin’s Prof Media Holding, Central Partnership will co-produce Russia’s films of Paramount Pictures.

iPhone to Go on Sale in Russia in 2009
Apple iPhone 3G will officially go on sale in Russia in 2009, Vedomosti reported. The Apple representatives didn’t comment on the news.

Rosnanotekh Gets Branding Makeover
The Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies unveils a new brand image today.

IPOC Creditors Didn’t Show Up
IPOC Capital Partners (ICP) and eight firms affiliated with it that used to own stakes in the biggest telecom companies of Russia will be wound up by this year-end.

Govt to Fund Microchip Production
The government has sanctioned appropriation of 27 billion ruble to Sitronics Consortium to construct an up-to-date microchip producer in Russia.

Cell Retailer’s Office Searched
A search was conducted of the central offices of Euroset, Russia’s largest cellular retailer, yesterday by the Prosecutor General’s Office.


Markets and Investment

Market Dn to Yukos
Driven down by the decline on raw exchange markets, Russia’s stock exchanges endured the slump yesterday with MICEX and RTS losing 3.7 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.

Russian Businesses Worry Murdoch
American multibillionaire media magnate Rupert Murdoch has stated that he does not like the investment climate in Russia and that he is worried about keeping his businesses there.

Russia Hit by Outflow
The war in Georgia scared away investors and fueled uncertainty about the future of Russia’s foreign exchange market and economy in general.

Russia’s Market Prepares for Sovereignty
Of all capital banks of Russia, Troika Dialog was the first to release an outlook dedicated to the market aftereffects of Russia’s-Georgian battle in South Ossetia.

Gazprom Borrows from Gazprom
Gazprom BOD is considering the sale of 4.5 percent in Gazprombank to Gazfond Pension Fund. The latter will pay roughly $1 billion, twice as much as the expert evaluation of the stake.

Stock Market Doomed to Decline
The information war of Moscow and the West continues to mar the stock market of Russia.

Russia's Assets Are the Cheapest
Political risks have made Russia’s market the cheapest in the world.

Investors Are a Macroeconomic Problem
Russia will make no efforts to increase the influx of foreign capital into the economy this year, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced yesterday in Tashkent, adding that it “creates additional problems” with inflation and money mass.

Money Continued the Westward Flight
The money is flowing out of Russia; the amount was at least $3 billion in one week.

Russians Merge and Acquire Abroad
Russian investors’ merger and acquisition deals outside Russia in 2007 exceeded foreign investments in Russia assets for the first time in recent years. Ernst & Young indicates in its latest review of M&A in 2007 that Russian investors took control of assets worth $23.2 billion through such activities (up from $11.4 billion in 2006).

Some $5bn Flew Out in August
The amount is two-/three-fold less than the economic analysts apprehended and could be based on yet unpublished data on the state of foreign economy.

Market Doesn't Cost More Than a Ruble
People were queuing in front of exchange offices and the rate for the cash currency was fluctuating. The abrupt depreciation of Russia's ruble triggered the slump on stock and bond markets.

Ruble Allowed Some Weakness
During his meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, CBR CEO Sergei Ignatiev gave the comprehensive explanation to the ruble behavior of the last fortnight.

The Market Fell the Prey to Oil
Russia’s market suffered yesterday the biggest slump of this century. Driven down by the oil price decline of below $100/bbl, RTS and MICEX fell by 7.5 percent to 9.1 percent, having lost over 40 percent since May.

U.S. Exposed Everyone by the Market Crisis
The United States has exposed everyone with the crisis on financial market, but Russia’s government is able to cope with difficulties and straighten out the situation, President Dmitry Medvedev announced during the meeting with Federal Financial Market Service chief Vladimir Milovidov.

Still Time to Buy Russian Stocks
The outflow of funds from emerging markets is continuing. The MSCI index of developing markets has lost 22 percent in the last three months.

Foreigners Pull $35 Bill. off Market
Foreign investors have taken about $35 billion off the Russian stock market since the beginning of the war in South Ossetia.

Trading Halted on Russian Stock Markets
Trading was halted on the RTS and MICEX stock markets on the instructions of the Federal Financial Markets Service. The MICEX index had fallen 10 percent.

Russians Not to Be Agitated by the Situation on Financial Market
The Russians shouldn’t be particularly agitated about financial market, Russia’s Vice Premier, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said, promising that the situation with inflation will become normal in the nearest half-year and the ruble won’t fluctuate materially.

Russia’s President Offered Half of Trillion to the Market
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has offered to appropriate a half of trillion ruble to support the stock market of Russia.

Kudrin Has Plan for Financial Markets
Trading will be resumed on Russian stock markets on September 19, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin stated at a meeting in the Kremlin on the situation on those markets.

Western Investors Upbeat on Russia
While investors are hardly optimistic in general, Russia is still among the best-positioned markets in the global financial crisis.

PM Says Market Problems Not Economic
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told a meeting of foreign businessmen that the situation on the financial market is not tied to economic problems in Russia.


Metals, Minerals

Prokhorov to Sell Stake in Norilsk Nickel to Potanin for $10bn
ONEXIM Group of Mikhail Prokhorov intends to sell its 16.66 percent in GMK Norilsk Nickel to Vladimir Potanin, RIA Novosti reported with reference to the statement of ONEXIM.

Mechel Gets Off Lightly
Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Igor Artemyev kept his promise to punish Mechel lightly. Igor Zyuzin’s company will pay a fine of just 5 percent of its turnover, or 790 million rubles, and be required to lower its prices by 15 percent.

High Coal Prices Hit Magnitogorsk
High raw materials prices have had their effect on the profit growth of metals manufacturers.

Evraz Mine Collapsed in Kuznetsk Basin
One of the oldest mines of Kuznetsk Basin, mine No. 12 in Kiselevsk, collapsed yesterday, August 17, 2008, killing three miners.

Steel Market Reeled Back
Although the majority of analysts say the decline is of seasonal nature and the prices will peak in 2009, quite a few believe that the maximum has been passed this year and the steel prices will be shedding from now on.

Alfa Group Refused to Cross Canada’s Board
Alfa Group has refused to buy 32 percent in Canadian High River Gold for $272 million due to the deterioration of precious metal market.

The Copper Riders
The battle for the world biggest Udokan copper deposit has reached the final stage. Two bidders have remained a week before the announcement of tender result. Both are endeavoring to win the support of President Dmitry Medvedev.

Metalloinvest Wins Copper Super-Mine
Alisher Usmanov’s Metalloinvest has won the competition for the Udokan copper deposit in Chita Region, the third largest deposit on Earth.

Investors Seek Relief in Mendeleev Table
Gold and silver prices surged over 10 percent yesterday. Crude oil prices are rising again.

Norilsk Nickel Starts Buying Back Stock
Norilsk Nickel announced on Friday the beginning of a program to buy 4 percent of its own stock from the market, with a 22-percent premium on the market price.

Severstal Buys U.S. Coal Corp.
Severstal will purchase the American company PBS Coals Corp. in October for $1.3 billion, it announced on Friday. It will provide for almost half the coal demand of Severstal’s North American enterprises.

Russia’s War with Georgia Reached Australia
Australian parliament’s committee probing into the uranium deal with Russia recommended yesterday not to ratify the agreement until Moscow provides firm guarantee of using uranium for civilian purposes exclusively.


Oil and Energy

Former Russian tycoon says he won't return to oil industry
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oil tycoon in Russia who was jailed, told a parole hearing in a Siberian court on Thursday that he does not plan to return to the oil industry where he made his fortune.

BP in Russia. Back to business
BP and its Russian partners appear to make up and vow to move on.

Law And Property, Kremlin-Style
The plight of BP in Russia seems to fit in with the overall silovik strategy of restoring state control over the energy sector that was begun in the early days of Putin's presidency.

Russia’s Oil, Gas Revenues to Peak This Year
Russia will have the peak of oil and gas revenues this year, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said, forecasting the decline to follow, RIA Novosti reported.

Shell Trades Wells for Refineries
Until now, it has been operating on the same scheme as TNK-BP, that is, on equal terms.

FAS Attracts Police Against LUKOIL, TNK-BP, Rosneft
Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has attracted officers of Interior Ministry to make LUKOIL, Gazprom Neft, TNK-BP and

Oilmen Shared Wholesale
Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service succeeded in driving down wholesale prices for petroleum.

Gazprom Packs Up Its Electricity Assets
The Gazprom board of directors approved on Tuesday the consolidation of the assets of electric companies controlled by it into Gazoenergeticheskaya Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom.

Russia to Light Up Iraq
Russia will proceed with executing electricity contracts in Iraq.

Aerofuels to Fuel from Tanker
Aerofuels that is the jet fuel supplier and operator of fuel facilities is going to buy a tanker fleet to deliver kerosene to the airports of Far East.

Gazprom Regains Control of Subsidiary
The Volga District Arbitration Court put on Friday to the lengthy conflict between Gazprom and the American billionaire Getty family

Considine Leaves TNK-BP
The decay of the management team is going on in TNK-BP.

Rosatom Started Up Chain Reaction
Chief of Russia’s Federal Atomic Agency Rosatom Sergei Kirilenko inked a ruling on arranging construction of Baltic Nuclear Plant in the Kaliningrad region; 49 percent in the plant will be sold to a private investor.

Federal Antimonopoly Service Revises Oil Schedule
Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service suggests revising the export duties on crude oil and petroleum each month instead of once in a couple of months.

Gazprom Neft Flew to Iran
Development of Iran’s North Azagedan field will be probably the first overseas project of Gazprom Neft.

Russia, Uzbekistan Agreed to Construct Gas Pipeline
Russia and Uzbekistan have agreed to set into motion construction of a new pipeline that will deliver Uzbek and Turkmen gas.

The Tax Restart
Russia’s Energy Ministry has elaborated a package of documents to soften taxation of oil companies.

Chubais Predicts Energy Crisis in 2010
Anatoly Chubais, former head of RAO UES of Russia, is predicting an energy crisis in Russia at the beginning of 2010 if the rate of gas production in the country stagnates.

Oil, Stock Exchange Have Vast Growth Potential
The investors are yet unable to forget the summer witch-hunt in the metal sector and the geopolitical war that drove indices down the victory of Russia notwithstanding.

Russia to Share Prices with OPEC
Russia urges OPEC to close ranks to stabilize prices on the global oil market.

The war in Georgia hastens construction of Nabucco
Since the war in Georgia, the search has heated up for energy sources and routes to transport them on without passing through Russia.


Infrasturcture and Development

Moscow to Pay $12 Bill. for New Roads
Construction of a fourth ring road, reconstruction of Warsaw Highway from the Moscow Ring Road to Shcherbinka, and other new roads that will stretch beyond the city limits will cost 300 billion rubles.

Far East in the Budget
By decision of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the federal target program for the development of the Russian Far East and Transbaikal will receive full budget financing in 2009 and investments between 2009 and 2010 will be increased by 133.5 billion rubles.

Few signs of progress on Putin's $6 billion Far East project
The plans call for a conference center with a cluster of luxury hotels, reachable via a $1 billion suspension bridge, along with improvements to Vladivostok's roads and airport.

Difference in Regional Development Gets Bigger
The H1 industrial production went down in 12 regions of the country, including Ingushetia (down 27 percent), Kalmykia (20.5 percent), Sakhalin (10.7 percent) and Tyva (7.7 percent).


Tourism and Travel

Russian diners say "Nyet" to Soviet service.
Ian Zilberkwei and his partner have drawn up bonus schemes and share plans to persuade staff to shake off Soviet habits and instill loyalty in a typically casual sector.

Russian service without the smile
After a sharp exchange of words with the salesman, the woman and her husband did what many in Russia do when confronted with rude customer service: they meekly paid and left.

Foreigners Will Be Kept Out for Debt
Director of the Federal Court Bailiffs Service Nikolay Vinnichenko stated on Thursday that his agency considers it necessary to prohibit foreigners with debts in Russia from entering the country.

Moscow Has Enough Rooms in Hotels for Tourists
Moscow Tourism Committee Chairman Grigory Antyufeev told Interfax Monday to deflate the rumors about the lack of rooms in the city’s hotels.

Russia Launches Target Program for Tourism Development
A federal program for tourism development will be soon elaborated in Russia, Interfax reported Thursday with reference to Nadezhda Nazina from the RF Ministry for Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy.


Other: Int'l Relations

Russia to Close Markets for Neighboring WTO Member
Ukraine is a new target of Russia’s war with the WTO.

Georgia Rejects Goods of Russia in Favor of Ukrainian Product
In the wake of the military clashes with Russia, Georgia intends to halt import of Russia’s consumer goods, shifting to the product of Ukrainian make

Russian businessmen fearing international isolation
The war with Georgia will negatively affect the Russian economy causing reduction in foreign investments in the long run and complicating the work of Russian companies abroad.



Govt Companies Stripped Of Govt Service
Russia's government has set to replacing by independent directors the bureaucrats in the BODs of state corporations.

FAS Wants Broader Application of Rules
The prosecutor general and tax legislation may soon no longer be the state’s main instruments of pressure on business, if the Federal Antimonopoly Service has its way.

The Zero Draw
Russia’s government’s commission for foreign trade protection prolonged yesterday the zero duty on cement import till October of 2009.

Tax Service Knows Where Margin Is
Russia’s Federal Tax Service hit an absolute record in tax collection in July of 2008. The amount exceeded 1.5 trillion ruble (less VAT), having surpassed 1 trillion ruble similar to April of 2008.

YUKOS Philanthropy in Court
The case of the embezzlement of 217 million rubles from YUKOS has been submitted to the Privokzalny Court in Tula.

Customs Claims Huge Duties from Jewelry Firms
The Central Excise Customs claims hundreds of million rubles from Russia’s jewelry companies, having filed over 30 suits to the Moscow Arbitration Court already.

VAT Discussion Is Rather the Economic Course Discussion This Week
This week is expected to be the final for deliberation on tax and financial policy of the next few years.

Russia’s President Found Benefits in Isolation
Closing certain world markets for Russia’s producers will result in no catastrophe either for the country or for the business, the RF President Dmitry Medvedev announced during the meeting with Russia’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

A Fourth of GDP Annually Laundered in Russia
The laundering extends to legalization of illegally acquired wealth, to the income concealment and embezzlement.

Putin Met Foreign Business in Sochi
Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin met spokesmen of the world business community in Sochi yesterday.

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