Today in Russian Business – Sept 20, 2011

According to a new survey by Ernst & Young, Russia is gaining attractiveness among foreign investors, with a total of 75% of international business leaders believing Russia has an ‘attractive’ domestic market and about one-third of them calling it ‘very attractive’.  Apparently the Sochi Olympic games have attracted a record-breaking $1.2 billion in national sponsorship.   According to Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Moscow and Nicosia are close to signing an agreement on a $2.7-3.4 billion Russian loan to Cyprus.   The Finance Minister has said that countries with large international reserves of currency and gold such as Russia may be able to assist Europe as the debt crisis spreads.  Bloomberg reports on how Russia could take a leaf out of Latvia’s book and unseat its oligarchs.  Russia and Iran have agreed to jointly develop the world’s largest zinc-lead deposit in central Iran.  En+ Group, parent of top aluminium producer UC RUSAL, may seek a listing in Hong Kong in the second half of 2012; the company apparently plans to invest $25 billion in expanding hydropower and production facilities in Russia over the next 20 years.  According to Bloomberg, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. plans to invest $13 million over the next three years to farm wheat and soybeans in Russia.  The Moscow Times reports on how the customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan has had a ‘major impact’ on trade relations with Western Europe.