Today in Russian Business – Dec 1, 2011

Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index has reportedly found that, despite Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s pledge to extirpate corruption, graft in Russia remains extremely high.  The country ranked 143rd out of 182 countries listed in the report, which is in fact an improvement on its 154th place on the 2010 list.  ‘The strategy for the next six months is to keep the ship anchored, pointed into the waves and to ride them’ says Chris Weafer, chief strategist at brokerage Troika Dialog, of Putin’s plans to lend freely and initiate a hefty fiscal stimulus as a global downturn looms over upcoming elections.  ‘If the United Russia party loses its majority, it will have a negative effect on the market. If they win 90 percent and the books look cooked, it will have a much more negative effect’ says one analyst quoted by Bloomberg.  The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg interviews a pensioner from the town of Tambov who struggles to survive on her state pension.  Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach has assured the public that Russia does not face the threat of economic recession in coming years and will see capital inflows starting from 2013 after losing around $80 billion this year.  According to Ria-Novosti, metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska has filed suit in a Swiss court against another Norilsk Nickel shareholder, Vladimir Potanin, concerning possible money laundering during Norilsk’s buyback program.