Today in Russian Business

100108corp.jpgRussia’s antimonopoly watchdog has initiated two cases against the Russian subsidiary of the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank and nine insurance companies over concerns about competition. A new law came into effect in Russia on January 1st this year, under which “companies are forbidden to use the official names of countries – both Russian and foreign – as well as their derivatives.” Names like ‘Russia’ and ‘the Russian Federation’ will only be allowed to be used by companies where the state owns over 75% of the shares. The Russian government will completely ban tobacco advertizing after signing up to a World Health Organization anti-smoking convention. Russia was reportedly the third-biggest importer of U.S.-made farm machinery for the first half of 2007. Siemens AG and Strabag SE will jointly bid for Russian contracts to develop infrastructure for the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Polymetal, the silver producer controlled by Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, gained in Moscow trading after ending hedges that obliged it to sell metal below market prices. Japan-based SBI Holdings and Metropol, one of Russia’s largest investment financial companies, are prepared to settle a $100 million mutual fund for investments in promising Russian enterprises. PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures at a cafe of an alpine ski center in Krasnaya Polyana in the southern Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)