2007

Emerging Markets : Violent Crackdown Sparks Global Outcry

RUSSIA Thousands of riot police beat peaceful anti-government protesters during opposition marches in Moscow and St. Petersburg in mid-April, signaling the Kremlin's intention to obliterate what are only the smallest glimmerings of anti-Putin sentiment. The show of excessive force predictably ...

Emerging Markets : Investors Shy Away From IPOs

RUSSIA Putin:Big businesses should be diversifying Prosecutors brought fresh charges against former Yukos oil company head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and an associate, which could mean that they will face another 15 years behind bars. Khodorkovsky would otherwise have been eligible for ...

Emerging Markets : Banker Arrested Over Murder

Russia Murdered: Andrei Kozlov A Russian banker, Alexei Frenkel, whose institution had its license revoked in June 2006, was arrested in mid-January on charges that he was behind the murder of Central Bank of Russia deputy chairman Andrei Kozlov. The ...

Emerging Markets : Accusations Mount Against Kremlin

RUSSIA Litvinenko: Death triggered accusations Just weeks after the assassinations of the number-two official at Russia’s central bank and of a prominent crusading journalist, the Kremlin has found itself accused of orchestrating yet another killing. As the affair took on ...

2006

Features : Growing Pains

COUNTRY REPORT / RUSSIA Both Russian and foreign-owned businesses are finding the country’s rapid economic growth is a double-edged sword. On October 28 Volkswagen CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder and Russia’s economy minister German Gref laid a foundation stone together, as the ...

Emerging Markets : A Return To The Bad Old Days

RUSSIA The gangland-style murder in September of Andrei Kozlov, number two at Russia’s central bank and a widely respected banking sector reformer, cast a shadow of doubt on how much really has changed in Russia’s banking sector since the wild ...

EM Roundup : Debt Repayment Highlights Economic Recovery

RUSSIA Finance minister, Alexei Kudrin In mid-August Russia completed the early repayment of its Soviet-era debt to the Paris Club, after submitting $22.5 billion in payments, marking an end of an era and underscoring the dramatic recovery in the Russian ...

Emerging Markets : Putin Stakes Claim For Key Role On World Stage

Russia Putin: Taking a tough stance Russia held its coming-out party in the northern Russian city of St. Petersburg when it hosted the annual meeting of the G-8 in mid-July. Even though events in the Middle East overshadowed the gathering, ...

Emerging Markets : Steel Makers Plan Merger To Head Off Mittal

RUSSIA Mordashov: Vaults to forefront of industry Steel maker Arcelor, under attack from Mittal, in late May announced a $16.6 billion merger with Russia’s Severstal, a deal that would create the world’s largest steel maker. The transaction, which was blessed ...

Emerging Markets : New Chill Descends

Russia Butting heads:Cheney and Putin exchange harsh words Relations between Russia and the US plumbed new post-Cold War depths as US vice president Dick Cheney labeled Russia’s energy resources “tools of intimidation and blackmail” and knocked Moscow for backsliding on ...

Emerging Markets : Russia Edges Closer to WTO Agreement

Russia Khodorkovsky: Attacked in jail The US and Russia edged closer to a deal that could pave the way for Russia to finally join the World Trade Organization, not long after Russian president Vladimir Putin publicly expressed his exasperation with ...

Emerging Markets : Inflation may trigger political fallout

RUSSIA Finance minister Alexei Kudrin New government-owned oil major Rosneft, which vaulted into the top tier of Russian oil companies with the controversial December 2004 acquisition of the largest production unit of Yukos Oil Company, submitted paperwork to launch an ...

Emerging Markets : Kremlin continues to tighten grip

Russia AvtoVAZ's joint venture with GM is on the rocks Rumors circulated that metals giant Norilsk Nickel has discussed merging with state-owned diamonds giant Alrosa, suggesting that the Kremlin is accelerating its drive to control key sectors of the economy. ...

2005

Emerging Markets : Putin Prepares for Succession

Russia Russian president Vladimir Putin reshuffled the government in mid-November, promoting presidential administration head and long-time Putin loyalist Dmitry Medvedev to the position of first deputy prime minister. Sergei Sobyanin, the governor of the oil-rich region of Tyumen, was named ...

Emerging Markets : Black Market Booms

Russia As widely anticipated, in late September Russian state monopoly gas giant Gazprom purchased a 73% stake in Sibneft, Russia’s fifth-largest oil company, for $13.1 billion in what is corporate Russia’s largest deal ever. Roman Abramovich and his partners purchased ...

Emerging Markets : Oil Fuels growth

Russia Viktor Khristenko August, usually a sleepy month for corporate Russia, was anything but quiet this year. Recurrent fears of an economic slowdown were eased by continued strength in the price of oil, which, coupled with positive investor sentiment toward ...

Features : On A Roll

Surging oil prices are revitalizing a flagging economy, but investors should not forget the upsets of the recent past. Surging oil prices are revitalizing a flagging ecHas Russia turned the corner—for good, this time? A vibrant commodities price environment has ...

Emerging Markets : Consolidation Heats Up

Russia Kasyanov: Under pressure In the latest round of oil and gas industry consolidation, Gazprom received Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official blessing to take over Sibneft, the country’s fifth-largest oil producer. Meanwhile, Sibneft announced it would pay out a record ...

Emerging Markets : Putin Tries For A New, Kinder Image

Russia Survivor: Russia’s privatization supremo, Anatoly Chubais In late March President Vladimir Putin extended an olive branch to the country’s oligarchs by proposing legal reforms that would in effect put shady privatizations of the 1990s beyond the reach of the ...

Emerging Markets : Russia Shuts Out Investors

Russia Investors told: “Your money’s no good here” In one of the most explicit demonstrations of the increasing nationalism of the Kremlin of Vladimir Putin, in mid-February Russia’s ministry for natural resources said that companies with majority foreign ownership would ...

Features : Russia: Investors Prepare for a Bumpy Ride

Investors Brace Themselves For A Bumpy Ride Russia may have been promoted to investment grade, but its political and economic turbulence show no signs of abating. Until relatively recently, it looked like Russia was going to get a lot less ...

Emerging Markets : Putin Fuels Businesses’ Fears

Russia An exceptionally long holiday slumber—with an official New Year’s break that extended from January 1 through January 10—in Russia was preceded by a final chapter in the so-called Yukos affair. On December 19 the company’s main asset, production subsidiary ...

2004

Emerging Markets : One Door Closes As Another Opens

RUSSIA In response to a dramatic increase in terrorism—most notably the attack in the town of Beslan in southern Russia, which resulted in the death in hundreds of schoolchildren, parents and teachers— Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a range of ...

Features : Opportunities Abound For The Nimble Investor

RUSSIA Casual readers of the business press over the past year could be forgiven for thinking there is only one major company in Russia. The long-running soap opera of the so-called Yukos affair has so dominated headlines that it has ...

Emerging Markets : All Eyes Continue To Focus On Yukos

Russia Frozen assets: Yukos continues to flirt with bankruptcy The Yukos affair continued to dominate headlines in Russia. After warning that Yukos would go bankrupt within a matter of weeks due to the Russian government’s freeze on its assets, imprisoned ...

Emerging Markets : Em Roundup

INDIA TWO STEPS FORWARD, ONE STEP BACK For the first time since 1995-1996 the Indian government’s revenues exceeded its budget estimates, leading to unprecedented collections, according to figures released in May. Collections for fiscal 2003-2004 grew 18% over the preceding ...

Emerging Markets : Reform, A Mea Culpa, And Investing Abroad

RUSSIA Yukos's Khodorkovsky Markets responded positively to the re-election of Russian President Vladimir Putin and to indications that he will pick up the pace on the structural reform program that was a key focus of his first term in office. ...