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Today in Russian Business – May 15, 2008

A new report by a Moscow brokerage reveals that the global credit crunch will knock about $12 billion off the amount likely to be raised through Russian initial public offerings this year. Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves increased by $2.9 billion, to $536.8 billion, in just one week. A new report shows that Russia, along with China, Brazil and other emerging economies, is becoming a bigger customer for the pharmaceuticals industry as it invests more in treating and diagnosing cancer. Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin says the government needs to lock up to $50 billion in its sovereign wealth fund for five to seven years to make portfolio investment in foreign shares feasible. Dmitry Medvedev has told his new government to step up efforts to help small and medium-sized businesses “choked by red tape and corruption.