Today in Russian Business – Nov 17, 2011

Industrial production growth is at its slowest pace since October 2009, heralding a possible stalling of the economy.  Could Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation cause its economy to slow?  Russia’s WTO negotiator estimates a 0.5% point loss per year.  Accession will not lead to a review of the law that currently prevents foreigners from setting up media outlets in Russia. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with German business leaders who are seeking Russian tenders, although ‘Germany is unlikely to regain its status as the biggest Russian trade partner this year.’  Russia has overtaken Germany and France as the biggest European market in terms of Internet users.  A planned 10% share buyback and dividend payout by Raspadskaya have boosted its share price.  Krasnodar’s rice crop has set a record at 940,000 metric tons.  Previously healthy estimates about this year’s sugar beet crop could give way to a 6 million ton loss thanks to frost.  Grain purchases will commence at the end of the month.  The FT reports on the year’s rollercoaster’ ride for Russian equities.  The Huffington Post cherry-picks information gleaned about Roman Abramovich from his court case with Boris Berezovsky.