Today in Russian Business – Nov 13, 2009

‘The primitive structure of our economy, was one of President Medvedev’s keynote complaints in his second annual address, which emphasized the need for technological innovation. The speech was ‘disappointing from an investment point of view […] it was very light on any specific point of action, just a reiteration of what we have already been hearing’, comments one strategist. Excessive state involvement in the economy was another point raised: three state corporations, Russian Technologies, Rusnano and Vneshekonombank will lose their status as such as early as next year. The President did suggest that it should be the job of the Foreign Ministry to systematically encourage foreign investments, by reducing bureaucratic hurdles. The economic decline has apparently eased during the last quarter after record lows. Rusal may offer stakes in mines to Chinese companies to contribute to the success of its IPO in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reports. The Central Bank’s efforts to fight a stronger ruble may ‘not be productive’ according to the International Monetary Fund. Russia’s Profmedia holding has announced it will increase its stake in Russian internet company Rambler to about 88%. Tycoon Alisher Usmanov has rejected an invitation to contribute his 31.1% stake in Russia’s mobile operator MegaFon to a new company envisaged by TeliaSonera and Russia’s Alfa Group.