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Today in Russian Business – Jan 17, 2012

A senior state investigator claims that the federal budget lost over $220 million last year in crimes tied to government purchase contracts.  Moscow’s construction department is selecting contractors to reconstruct all of the city’s throughways by the end of 2012, to the tune of billions of rubles.  The Agricultural Ministry is planning to develop the exchange trade for crops and grain.  VTB Capital expects that it can repeat the success of its profitable sale (at an undisclosed price) of the Lesnaya Building in Moscow, which it acquired during the financial crisis.  Fitch has downgraded its outlook on Russian debt due to ‘political uncertainty’ over how Vladimir Putin will deal with the current protests.  Under the leadership of Igor Kim, Barclays’ Russian unit will have its former name, Expobank, restored, and turn its attention to mass retail.  Morgan Stanley’s decision to buy the Galereya shopping mall in St Petersburg will secure Russia’s largest ever real estate deal at $1.1 billion; Bloomberg has details of the funds involved.  Vladimir Putin’s plan to install web cameras at polling stations ahead of the presidential elections is going to cost 13 billion rubles.