Foreign postal shipments to Russia double during the holiday season

Today’s Vedomosti.ru reports that the doubling of foreign postal shipments to Russia surprised even the western postal services. Russians seem to have fully embraced international Internet-shopping: 70 percent of incoming parcels handled by Russian Postal Service originate from foreign online stores. Russian Postal Service expected that the volume of incoming parcels would increase by no more than 40-60…

Food imports rise after Russia’s WTO accession

Business daily Vedomosti.ru quotes yesterday’s comments by the Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fedorov on the effects of Russia’s WTO accession. According to Fedorov, veal, pork, milk and cream imports increased between 10-33.5 percent in the period between September and November on a year-on-year basis. The Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (http://www.ikar.ru/eng/) provides a more detailed…

Russian Central Bank concerned about the risks of consumer lending

Business daily Vedomosti.ru reports on the analysis performed by the Russian Central Bank, indicating that the risk levels for consumer lending are underestimated. The Central Bank selected a group of 32 Russian banks that provide unsecured consumer loans and analyzed their performance and risk exposure. The analysis revealed that the retail lending portfolio of the…

Russian Government considers replacing the VAT with the turnover tax

Today’s business daily Vedomosti.ru reports that the Russian Government is expected to discuss the tax reform announced by the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the beginning of December. In his statement, Medvedev emphasized his intention to discuss the possibility of introducing the turnover tax to replace the VAT. The Government will hear expert opinions at its…

Capital outflow from Russia continues

Gazeta.ru reports on the capital outflow from Russia that continues for the 11th consecutive week. According to the Emerging Portfolio Fund Research (www.epfr.com), during the week that ended on December 19, foreign investment funds targeting Russia were reduced by USD 60 million. This marks the continuation of a negative trend lasting for 11 weeks – since…

Shelf tax haven for Gazprom and Rosneft

Russian business daily Vedomosti.ru reports that the competent ministries within the Russian government agreed on the main provisions of the future law regulating taxation of the shelf oil and gas fields. Deputy Minister of Finance Mr. Sergei Shatalov stated that the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Economic Development came to terms on…

Government-owned VTB bank shows spectacular results

Today’s edition of Gazeta.ru reports on VTB bank’s financial results for the third quarter of 2012, which was one of the most successful quarters in the bank’s history. While VTB’s income from corporate loans declined, approximately half of the bank’s total net profit of 26.6 billion rubles (USD 865 million) in the third quarter came…

Rosneft and ExxonMobil expected to invest USD 1 trillion in Arctic shelf oil extraction projects

Today’s edition of Gazeta.ru complements yesterday’s news about the amendments to the Continental Shelf Act and Gazprom’s announced investments in gas extraction and transport projects. Gazeta.ru reports on Rosneft’s and ExxonMobil’s planned investments in oil extraction in the Arctic shelf, which are expected to reach USD 1 trillion, or almost twice the amount planned at the…

Russian parliament passed a law on gas extraction in the coastal shelf

Russian business daily RBK reports that the Russian state parliament (Duma) passed a law regulating the development of gas extraction fields in the continental shelf, scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2013. The law introduces property tax breaks for gas extraction facilities located within the Arctic sea continental shelf and removes the ban on…

Experts revise Russian Central Bank’s estimates on capital outflow

Today’s edition of Slon.ru publishes expert opinions on the actual volume of capital outflow from Russia that differ from the official estimates by the Russian Central Bank. The main objection of the study developed by the government-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund, Ernst & Young and the Moscow State University consists in the fact that the…

Russian car dealers’ optimism backfires

Today’s Kommersant reports on Russian car dealers’ woes as a consequence of their optimistic sales expectations for 2012. Some of the Russian car dealers had unexplicably high expectations for 2012 and were unpleasantly surprised when the demand started to drop in the 3rd quarter of 2012. According to one of the sources, the volume of cars…

Russian Duma employees looking forward to New Year’s bonuses

Today’s Vedomosti.ru reports that the employees of the Russian Parliament („Duma“) stand to receive premiums in the amount of up to 50 average monthly base pays. One of the Duma members stated that the department heads will have the authority to decide on the actual amounts to be awarded to their employees. According to other sources…