Today in Russian Business – April 23, 2012

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has told the press that Russia’s state budget deficit forecast for 2012 has been lowered to 0.3% of GDP from an earlier estimated 1.5% of GDP, due to higher prices for oil and increased tax revenue.  Decentralization, investment growth, reform: ex-Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has published an article in the journal Economic Policy with a series of economic suggestions for the next government.  In the FT, Rusal head Oleg Deripaska has bemoaned the Central Bank’s ‘ridiculous’ restrictions on liquidity.  Booming Russian retailer Magnit has announced its first-quarter profit rose 158% in dollar terms compared to a year ago. Reuters considers President Obama’s plans to capitalize on Russia’s soon-to-be status as the biggest auto market in Europe.  Telecoms giant MegaFon, whose new CEO is Ivan Tavrin, has apparently completed securing $4.5 billion of loans to fund a buyout of Mikhail Fridman ‘s 25.1% stake.