Today in Russian Business – July 1, 2008

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told visiting US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that Russia, contrary to popular belief, has “various funds”, but does not yet have a sovereign wealth fund. He also said that Russia is “ready to respond” to the challenges posed by the credit crunch, but also urged the US to take action. Paulson, in turn, urged Russia to invest in the US economy. Lending activity in Russia has reportedly remained “buoyant” despite the credit crunch. Bank of New York Mellon is fighting a $22.5 billion claim filed by the Russian customs service relating to a money laundering scandal in the late 1990s. The popularity of the SUV in Russia is due to a combination of poorly maintained roads and emphasis on public image, says one article. Oleg Deripaska’s United Company Rusal won a third of the seats on Norilsk Nickel‘s nine-man board at its annual meeting, well-positioning the company to lead a merger.