Today in Russian Business – Dec 9, 2011

An International Monetary Fund senior official has apparently predicted that Russia’s economic growth is likely slow to 3.5% in terms of GDP next year, and that ‘significant downside risks’ will spread from Europe’s debt crisis.  Bloomberg reports on how the protest movements have affected the ruble, which has dropped for seven days.  ‘The market now has to factor top-down political risk into the Russian investment case, which it has not had to do for 12 years’, says Kingsmill Bond, strategist for Citibank, in an article by the FT.  ‘As the old Soviet Union found (and today’s Belarus is finding), economic problems make repression harder to sustain’, says the Economist.  According to the Moscow Times, Russia’s IT industry is booming, with a reported $26.9 billion in turnover this year, an improvement of 20% on last year.  Russian coal miner Siberian Anthracite is looking to raise $200 million through a London listing in 2012.  VTB Group has announced an increase in net profit year-on-year of 39% in July-September 2011, to $608 million.  Russia’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, has seen net profit almost double for the first 11 months of 2011 to $9.5 billion.