Today in Russian Business – March 17, 2010

Russia’s economy could grow faster than expected this year; by as much as 4-4.5% in comparison with predictions of 3-3.5%.  See Bloomberg for Russia’s three-pronged strategy to facilitate the economic recovery, currently jeopardized by the strength of the ruble.  A dose of ‘fiscal medicine’ is needed to counter the currency’s sharp rise, argues the Telegraph.  Happy new year: Sberbank saw a fivefold increase in profit between January and February.  International postal operators DHL and UPS have blamed red tape for provoking difficulties in their operations in Russia.  Rusal is contemplating selling more than $500 million of ruble bonds to reduce bank debt.  Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov has expressed concern that Russia may lose control of some ‘sensitive’ goods and dual-use technologies when a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan comes into place on July 1.  The Power Vertical examines the exorbitant costs of securing trading permissions from the local bureaucracy in Kaliningrad, which caused small businesses to gather for a mass protest in January this year.