Today in Russian Business – June 1, 2011

An Audit Chamber report reveals that officials misspent over $71 million in state tenders in just five months.  Ural Mining & Metallurgical has surpassed Norilsk Nickel in terms of copper production last year, making it the country’s largest copper producer.  There are certain obstacles standing in the way of Moscow becoming a leading international financial center, including broad perception and regulatory issues.  Dmitry Medvedev’s corporate governance committee discusses proposed changes to business law – ‘but there is no certainty they will be implemented if Mr Medvedev does not stay in power beyond elections next year‘.  The Moscow Times has a breakdown of Russia’s gargantuan infrastructure needs, and points out that a lack of direct routes means that ‘70 percent of Russian imports from neighboring China reach the country not by land but through circuitous and expensive transshipments to European ports‘.  Manufacturing growth levels are only just above stagnation, says Bloomberg.  On Russia’s beer market, now the fourth-largest in the world.  VTB says it is not concerned about the recent string of canceled Russian IPOs. ‘IPO withdrawals are not unique to Russia.