Today in Russian Business – April 12, 2012

Russia’s government has released income declarations for its top officials in 2011: President-elect Vladimir Putin and current President Dmitry Medvedev have declared incomes of $124,000 and $114,000 respectively.  The richest Federation Council member was revealed to be Buryatia Senator Vitaly Malkin, who apparently earned over $34 million last year.  The declarations have also shown that the wives of the country’s state employees have a predilection for expensive automobiles.  According to the Federal State Statistics Service, the number of Russians with incomes below the minimum cost of living increased by an estimated 1.1% in 2011 to 18.1 million people.  Reuters reports on new plans to wean Russia’s economy off its dependence on oil and gas.  Russian property group BIN is apparently interested in creating a theme park in the south of Moscow with US media group NBC Universal.  Sberbank is reconsidering the possible acquisition of Denizbank as a way of entering the Turkish market, says Reuters.  Billionaire Alexander Mamut is apparently the man behind micro-finance organization Migcredit.  Despite it being Medvedev’s pet project, the imminent change in presidents will not affect the development of the Skolkovo innovation hub, a top consultant at the innovation center has told the press.  Time Magazine’s Simon Shuster has an in-depth discussion of the recent scandal over Igor Shuvalov’s alleged corruption deals, whose roots, Shuster argues, lie in the Yukos case.