Today in Russian Business – Nov 25, 2010

An Ernst & Young audit suggests that 60% of Russia’s multinationals have a negative view of the country’s tax system and its effect on investment; the head of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service says that foreign companies should ally themselves with the Service in order to improve the investment climate, but admits that, in order to do so, a ‘huge amount of analytical work‘ and ‘truckloads of documents’ need to be supplied.  The Canadian dollar is the latest addition to international reserves, and the Australian dollar could be next.  A delegation of senior figures from major British companies, led by Business Secretary Vince Cable, has arrived in Moscow for ‘Britain’s biggest ever trade mission to Russia‘.  Russia is ready to sell a $3 billion stake in VTB, says Igor Shuvalov, amid reports that the privatization could be done in stages – cutting first to 50%, and then halving stakes from there.  Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has suggested that proceeds from privatization deals could be funneled into a substantial reserve fund, the interest on which could be used to ease budget deficits – similar to a 2006 fund set up using oil and gas profits.  This could prove a useful replacement to a dwindling ‘pillow of petrodollars‘.  The FT reports on the property deal brokered by former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov for his wife’s company, Inteko.