Today in Russian Business – Oct 13, 2011

Will the merging of Russia’s stock markets improve the business climate by making institutional reforms imperative?  On Russia’s plans to expand its Eurasian customs union, which will likely be one of Vladimir Putin’s priorities following his return to the presidency.  Steelmaker Evraz has boosted its share price with a promise of dividends.  The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has called aspects of Norilsk Nickel’s planned share buyback into question, saying that it will not be is not possible without the permission of Vladimir Putin’s government commission on foreign investments.  Interros has long been feuding about Norilsk’s plan, says the FT.  Prosecutor General Yury Chaika says that state tenders are only getting more corrupt.  Public-private partnerships are being used now in Russia not just for larger infrastructure projects, but for regional-based developments in the health and education sectors.  Bank loans are funding the energy-efficient investments of small companies in Rostov.  On the life and death of Oksana Sergiyenko, who in her role at the Finance Ministry was ‘one of the main drivers of the stabilization fund’ championed by former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.  French drug maker Ipsen may open its own manufacturing plant in Russia as part of expansion plans.  Businessman Alexei Kozlov is back in court after having been freed last month from an imprisonment related to fraud charges.  How will Russia’s vows to cooperate with China affect its bid to modernize?