Today in Russian Business – Feb 17, 2011

According to Reuters, Boston Consulting Group has good news for the Russian car market, but is Russia being overoptimistic when it claims that its automotive industry is ‘back on track‘?  The chairman of Barclay’s (whose Russian experiences have been far from profitable, it would seem) has told Bloomberg that upcoming parliamentary elections and political turmoil in the Middle East may put investors off buying the nation’s assets this year.  Still, according to this article, Russia remains a more attractive option than Thailand of Brazil, thanks to its ‘hard assets’.  United Company RusAl is, the Moscow Times reports, returning to the ruble debt market for the first time since 2005 as yields fall to record lows.  In a crack down on corruption, President Medvedev has proposed increasing fines for officials caught taking bribes to up to 100 times the size of the bribe.  Machine gun wielding police officer have apparently raided the Moscow offices of troubled property developer Inteko.  It has been revealed that tycoon Suleiman Kerimov bought $500 million worth of shares in the VTB sale and is interested in the upcoming Sberbank offer.  For details of some of the other buyers who rushed to grab a piece of Russia’s second biggest lender, see the Moscow Times.