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Today in Russian Business – Feb 16, 2011

Entrepreneur and Novaya Gazeta Alexander Lebedev has pulled out of a business forum in London this week, apparently due to fears that his businesses would be raided by corrupt law enforcement officials in his absence.  Read his full explanation in the Guardian.  It’s been a ropey few weeks for Russian companies listing in London, but media holding UTV-Media is undeterred, apparently contemplating an IPO in the capital this year in order to raise up to $250 million.  Reuters reports that Barclays is withdrawing its retail arm from Russia on the basis that it is unable to compete in local retail business.  For details of the many homes owned by Chelsea-owning billionaire Roman Abramovich, check Bloomberg.  Why dairy company Danone needs to focus on Russia, from the FT.  Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation and Harvard University endowment funds are among the new investors in VTB Group, following the government’s sale of 10% in the lender.  In an article in the Wall Street Journal, VimpelCom CEO Alexander Izosimov talks optimistically about plans to recover lost market share in Russia and defends the company’s interest in Egypt-based Wind Telecom SpA.