Today in Russian Business – July 28, 2010

The Moscow Times reports on Russia’s ‘geek shortage‘ (lack of young, IT-savvy personnel, that is).  Why is St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport such an expensive project?  Largely due to investor pessimism, which leads to higher interest rates from the banks financing it, suggests this article.  Accelerated output growth attributable to increased domestic spending will spur the government to raise the economic forecast for this year, according to the Finance Ministry.  Is Suleiman Kerimov attempting to build the world’s largest potash producer?  The problem of Russia’s phenomenally expensive roadbuilding plans could be solved by increasing taxes on drivers, says Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.  Luxury car sales are up by over 30% for the first half of 2010, ‘despite a rise of only 3 percent in the Russian car market as a whole‘.  The FT on Russia’s privatization plan: ‘Future stake sales must not be a repeat of the shady insider deals of the 1990s. […] Handling the privatizations correctly is, moreover, only a start. Russia still needs to strengthen protection of property rights.‘  Under a new agreement, Imax will install up to 14 of its big-screen theatres across Russia.