Yevtushenkov on Arrests of Russian Businessmen: “This is Our Homeland”

Russian portal Slon.ru published a transcript of the interview with Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Russian businessman who enjoyed USD 9 billion of his worth before he was apprehended for participation in the allegedly illegal privatization of Bashneft oil company that the Russian Government seeked and managed to annul, apparently for the purpose of re-privatization (in lack of…

Should Russians Brace for a Tax Hike?

According to Vedomosti.ru, the Russian Ministry of Finance believes that balancing the federal budget in the short term will require the Government to sell assets, drain the reserve funds and rise taxes. In order to cut the deficit from the projected 3.2% of GDP in 2017 to 1.2% of GDP in 2019, the Ministry of…

Monetary Value of Human Life in Russia

Russian daily Kommersant writes about the value of human life in Russia – this time not in numinous terms, but in rubles. Having reviewed government compensations and standard life insurance policies, Kommersant came to the conclusion that there is no widely accepted value: life of a person deceased in a psychiatric ward was estimated at 500.000…

Two Large Insurers Quitting the Russian Health Insurance Market

Slon.ru reports that Uralsib and Alliance, two major insurance companies, are looking to sell their health insurance businesses.  Slon.ru cites Russian business daily Vedomosti and its three sources from the companies’ top management. Allianz spent the last three months collecting bids for its Rosno-MS subsidiary. The value of Allianz’s health insurance business is estimated at…

Inflation of Fines in Russia

Russian news portal Slon.ru writes about the phenomenon of rising fines in Russia as one of the manifestations of the economic downturn. The imminent depletion of the national Reserve Fund and the rising budget deficits force the Government to look for additional sources of revenue. Taxes and duties are not the only way to extract…

Putin no Longer Among the Top Vodka Brands

Citing Kommersant, news portal Meduza.io reports that the sales of a popular Vodka brand “Putinka” fell by half in the last year. Accordingly, “Putinka’s” market share dropped from 2.74% in July 2015 to 1.36% in May 2016, and the brand slid from its 4th position to number 15 on the list of Russia’s most popular…

As Russia Eats Through its Reserve Funds, Some Thoughts About Why They Matter

Slon.ru cites Mr. Nikolai Kasheev, Research and Analysis Director with Promsvyazbank, who talks about the relative weakness of Russian reserve funds. Similar funds exist in 44 countries including China, which operates four national funds with a total value of close to USD 1.5 trillion. Next in terms of value are the seven United Arab Emirates’ funds…

Russian Ministry of Finance to Reduce Subsidies to Regional Budgets by 15.5%

Russian business daily Vedomosti reports that the Russian Ministry of Finance plans to reduce subsidies to regional authorities by 15.5% in 2017.  One of the items that will be cut is that aimed at fulfilling President Putin’s executive order from May 2015 to increase the salaries in the public sector. Other subsidies will be cut…

Putin’s Assistant Complains About the Strengthening Ruble

Russian state news agency Interfax reported that President Putin’s adviser Andrey Belousov complained about the strengthening ruble.  Stronger ruble means lower income for the Russian central budget and damages the competitiveness of the Russian industry and agriculture, Belousov said. Lower demand for the local currency and a sharp decline in capital outflow in the second…

German and Chinese Consortia Bid for the Moscow-Kazan Railway Line

Russian daily Kommersant outlines the details of a German proposal to construct the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway line. The consortium of German companies that includes Siemens promised to invest in the concessionaire’s equity and provide more than EUR 2 billion in export credit financing. Total investment required to complete the second leg of the Nizhniy Novgorod-Kazan…