Today in Russian Business – Jan 27, 2010

‘Truly horrific’: see this video interview with Hermitage Capital founder William Browder to hear more about the investor’s experiences in Russia.  The troubles of businessman and human rights activist Peter Vins, reported in the Moscow Times, are not so dissimilar.  People who have committed financial crimes should not be subject to the same kind of punishments as ‘murderers and rapists’; says the head of the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General’s Office in Moscow.   According to the IMF’s revised updates, Russia’s economic downturn in 2009 reached around 9% of GDP; this year there will be a 3.6% growth in GDP, and in 2011 a growth of around 3.4%.  Rusal’s shares have fallen by 9%, apparently amid concerns over debt.  According to Bloomberg, billionaire Alexander Lebedev has sold his 25.8% stake in Aeroflot to Russia’s biggest airline for about $400 million.  Property mogul Telman Ismailov may be planning a return to Russia, some time after his Cherkizovsky Market was closed down in a politically-intoned crackdown on contraband.  The degree to which Russians trust businesses to do what is right apparently plunged by 10% in 2009, the most among the world’s biggest economies.