Today in Russian Business – October 1, 2010

Today’s Financial Times offers a special report on investing in Russia: ‘[D]oes a perpetually backward country need to be western to be modern?‘ wonders Charles Clover, contemplating how outward-looking Russia actually is when it is estimated that 60% of GDP is now produced by state-controlled companies.  Farewell to foreign exchange booths, 11,000 of which in the late 90s acted as a symbol of the feeble ruble: the kiosks will all close their doors today as per a government ruling.  ‘Whatever the cause of the fall from grace, the real estate sector is bracing for collateral damage: Andrew Kramer considers operating in Moscow’s post-Luzhkov vacuum.  Meanwhile Yelena Baturina’s property developer Inteko is refuting claims that it faces rough seas following her husband’s dismissal.  Companies which have close connections with the federal government, such as St. Petersburg-based LSR Group, and groups controlled by VTB, are most likely to benefit from the mayoral changeover, says Bloomberg.