Today in Russian Business – April 17, 2012

In new figures released today on global arms purchases, Russia has overtaken Britain and France to take third place in the world league table, having spent nearly $72 billion on arms last year.   Krasnoyarsk Territory’s industry and energy minister has been charged with large-scale fraud, according to ITAR-TASS.  A cousin of Vladimir Putin, Igor Putin, intends to transform Russky Zemelny Bank into a backer of large-scale government projects having been named head of its board of directors.  In the first quarter, gold and silver miner Polymetal increased its gold output by 24%, says this report.  The nation’s number one gold miner, Polyus Gold, has announced a 52% increase in sales year-on-year, to $587 million in the first quarter of 2012 due to rising gold prices and output.  Industrial production apparently grew at the slowest pace since October 2009 last month.  Russian home electronics and white goods retailer M.Video has seen its first-quarter sales rise 31%, year-on-year, to $1.32 billion as a result of improved consumer confidence.  The Wall Street Journal reports on how shareholders in Australia’s Flinders Mines ‘are getting a crash course in doing business in Russia’ thanks to a thwarted takeover bid of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel.