Today in Russian Business – Jan 19, 2011

Four Russian members of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are being investigated for corruption by Britain and Russia, and have had their diplomatic immunity removed as part of the inquiry.  Whistleblower Alexei Navalny says he has spotted another rigged tender, this time over the construction of a website for the Federal Consumer Protection Service.  The Kremlin plans to privatize its media holdings, but are they actually worth anything?  April is the current date on which Russia’s sights are set for WTO accession, and the Kremlin is planning to halve subsidies for livestock and grain farmers in accordance. Microsoft is to start conducting business with local partners in rubles, demonstrating its ‘confidence in the stability and development potential of the Russian IT market and the country’s economy as a whole‘.  Russia’s Qiwi, which makes payment terminals, will sell 14.9% of its shares to Japan’s Mitsui as part of plans to enter new markets, including the US.  Consumer confidence among developing countries is at its second lowest in Russia, new research suggests.  Despite its volatile status, the North Caucasus is to receive $13.4 billion in Russian investment this year, part of a drive to create small and mid-sized businesses and improve living conditions.  President Dmitry Medvedev has commended IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad for his work to improve Russian-Swedish trade.