Today in Russian Business – Oct 19, 2010

According to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the government doesn’t discern between Russian and foreign business, seeking ‘comfortable conditions for everyone‘.  Putin has indicated that any privatization of state companies would be contingent on bespoke investments in technology and talent: ‘Russia needs direct, private foreign investment. Not just capital, but also so-called ‘smart investments,’ or input accompanied by the transfer of technology with the creation of new high-tech and well-paying jobs.‘  Russia’s real estate market is showing signs of recovery, although the volume of foreign deals remains low, says the Moscow Times.  Copies of i, a new British daily newspaper started by Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev (who also owns The Independent), will go on sale next week.  PepsiCo is looking to spend $140 million on its tenth Russian plant.  A 25% increase, year-on-year, in money transfers from Russia to Armenia is apparently having a ‘positive impact on the Armenian economy‘.  Retailer O’Key is anticipating that it will raise up to $491 million in a London IPO.