Today in Russian Business – Jan 24, 2010

As good market conditions prompt a wave of Russian IPOs, RosAgro is apparently considering its second attempt at a public offering.  Top lender Sberbank reportedly plans to buy major investment company Troika Dialog in an attempt to diversify its operations.  Bloomberg reports that Alfa Bank is looking to acquire 100% ownership of AKB Bank of Moscow.  The privately-owned lender is apparently hoping for an open sale as opposed to private disposal to VTB.  Afghan President Hamid Karzai has invited Russia to join in a host of economic projects, including rebuilding Soviet-era facilities in the war-torn country.  Alleged misconduct by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development officials underscores the importance of dealing with deeply-rooted corruption in Russia and other Eastern bloc countries, the bank’s head has told the Moscow Times. ‘We don’t expect Davos Man to dwell on the moral rot of Putinism, but Mr. Khodorkovsky’s plight certainly represents the commercial dangers of what some call Russia’s “legal nihilism”‘: the Wall Street Journal contemplates Russia’s chances of attracting foreign investors in the wake of the Yukos trial.