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Today in Russian Business – Dec 13, 2011

In the third quarter, Russia’s economy grew at the fastest pace in more than a year with a rebound in agricultural output, construction and retail sales.  Whilst Russia is proving relatively resilient amid the financial storm, contagion effects from the euro zone should definitely not be underestimated, says Reuters.  Russia’s ambassador to the European Union has told the press the Kremlin is still considering providing funds to help assuage the eurozone crisis via the IMF.  Vlad Milev, an analyst at Metzler Payden, discusses the effect of political disruption on the economy in a Bloomberg video.   According to Reuters, Evraz is mulling the possibility of a merger with Severstal, in a deal that would fuse together Russia’s two biggest steelmakers to create the world’s eighth-largest producer by output.  The latter has apparently reached an agreement to acquire the remaining 38.5% stake in the Putu iron ore project in Liberia from Afferro for $65 million.  Once it has joined the WTO, could Russia be looking at a scrap deficit?