Today in Russian Business – Feb 2, 2012

VTB will issue a loan to travel company Lanta Tour Voyage to ensure that its stranded tourists will be able to get home.  Tax authorities have allegedly frozen three bank accounts belonging to the charity fund Just Assistance – and the charity’s head says the move is almost certainly linked to her involvement in the League of Voters.  A debate by Russian business leaders revealed ‘disquiet’ over the protest movement’s ‘opaque slogans’, which could herald upcoming chaos: ‘The most important point is that citizen activism should not lead to political instability.’  The International Monetary Fund’s Moscow representative says that Russia needs to think about ‘major budget consolidation’ to protect it from an oil price shock.  On the ‘fraud scheme’ whereby homebuyers pay for apartments in the early stages of construction, only to have the developer disappear or declare bankruptcy.  2011 gold production figures are in, with Russian firms producing slightly less than expected at 209 tons.  A French castle owned by billionaire Sergei Pugachyov will be seized to make up debt repayments.