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Today in Russian Business – April 26, 2012

According to Bloomberg, investors still believe that political instability and the possibility of protests are a factor when considering Russian risk.  Why Putin’s luxury tax is unlikely to redress the imbalance between rich and poor in any meaningful way.  Having sold his stake in Megafon this week, billionaire Mikhail Fridman apparently wants to raise the stake his telecoms company Altimo owns in mobile phone operator Vimpelcom.  Meanwhile, Russia’s richest man, Alisher Usmanov, the new owner of Fridman’s Megafon stake, is in talks to create a holding company to own his stake in MegaFon and next-generation telecoms operator Scartel.   Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin has pledged that the capital will stop using the many thousands of migrant workers it hires yearly and will develop its own production capabilities instead.  From the Moscow Times, a report considering how VTB’s foreign retail business has proved a hit.  The VTB group, which is Russia’s second-biggest lender, has announced that profit failed to meet analysts expectations, with 54% growth last year.  Trade turnover between Russia and Kazakhstan reached $24 billion last year, apparently accounting for 20% of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade.