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Today in Russian Business – April 14, 2011

With the help of government money, the domestic market for medical equipment is to grow by 50% over the next two year, as Vladimir Putin seeks to overcome the market’s domination by foreign brands.  A court has lifted an injunction on Uralkali’s merger with Silvinit.  Sukuk, bonds governed by the rules of Islamic law, could be introduced in Tatarstan this year.  Mikhail Prokhorov is going after labor laws that allow high overtime rates and prevent unexplained dismissal. Unsurprising, then, that the unions see Prokhorov’s ideas as ‘cannibalistic‘.  Russia stands out from the four other BRICs (which now include South Africa) because it is the only one to be dealing with capital outflows, as the other BRICs ‘operate increasingly punitive controls to try to stem the flood of dollars‘ into their markets.  All members are calling for Russia’s entry into the WTO, as well as for an international reserve currency system ‘providing stability and certainty‘ and a reform of the U.N. Security Council.  Space chief Anatoly Perminov outlines Russia’s plans, including a potential 2035 Mars mission.  Watchdog Rospotrebnadzor wants an Alfa Bank manager disqualified on grounds that the company repeatedly failed to comply with its orders.