Today in Russian Business – Dec 7, 2010

According to the Federal Financial Monitoring Service, financial institutions reported $3.8 trillion – yes, trillion – worth of suspicious transactions in the first nine months of this year, fueling fears of increased capital flight.  In a ‘landmark decision‘, the Swedish Supreme Court will allow former Yukos shareholders to seek compensation from Russia for its nationalization of the company.  Banks operating in Russia are scrambling to patent fairly ordinary product names in order to pre-emptively avoid a spate of lawsuits.  As part of its efforts to boost national currencies, China could pay in rubles for Russia’s timber, coking coal and seafood.  The reparation of Russia’s irrigation systems on 12 million hectares of farmland could cost $32 billion over the next decade, by Agriculture Ministry estimates.  This FT blog looks at the latest surge of interest in Russian assets, referring to recent deals involving X5, Wimm-Bill-Dann, and Intourist.  Vladimir Putin’s United Russia speech (a Russian transcript of which is here) included an announcement that the Trans-Siberian Railways and the Baikal-Amur Mainline would both need to be upgraded to increase capacity ‘in the next few years‘.