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Today in Russian Business – May 21, 2009

Banks may require a supplementary $16 billion in funds this year to combat the rise in non-performing loans. The Central bank believes that there is reason for ‘conservative optimism’ regarding a recovery in the banking sector.  Apparently 64% of Russian employees think that corporate fraud will increase over the next few years, with only 14% of staff feeling that their management is ‘always honest’.  Egypt is now examining a third batch of Russian wheat for dead insects, raising the amount of quarantined wheat to 80,000 tonnes.  Despite its concerns earlier this year about investing in Russia, IKEA reportedly intends to create a shopping mall in Voronezh, and plans to open stores in Omsk and Samara.  Armenia is set to receive a $500 million loan from Russia to help improve its infrastructure.  The financial crisis has fortified the position of Russian politicians in favor of greater state control, the Guardian reports.  ‘Every company that falls under state control comes with a price tag attached, even if those costs are indirect or hidden‘; the Moscow Times looks at the pitfalls of protectionism.