Latest articles from Russia

Pension plan stalls

March 3, 2004

The Kremlin has shifted emphasis away from encouraging growth, which is now strong, to tackling pressing social problems like pension reform. Ben Aris finds out that, although a good plan has got off to a bad start, there is hope for the future.
Marina is standing outside the Valentino shop in tears. She received her monthly Rbs400 pension ($15) yesterday but lost her avoska, the occasional shopping bag that all Russians used to carry, along with her purse.

Market forces

March 3, 2004

Since its collapse in 1998, Russia’s domestic bond market has made a spectacular comeback. Rosbank chairman Alexander Popov talks to The Banker about its future.

The ratings game

March 3, 2004

Russia’s straddling of the investment grade and high-yield ratings is an illustration of the contradictions within the country. Ben Aris reports that its macroeconomic success story is not yet fully supported by the political foundations it requires.

Russia indicates change of lanes

March 3, 2004

Is Russia’s aim of doubling its economy by 2010 through special economic zones realistic? Ben Aris reports.

Deutsche Bank buys into UFG

January 5, 2004

Ben Aris spoke to the Russian bank’s CEO about the rationale behind the deal and the outlook for Russia.

Russians lead on speed

January 5, 2004

Russian banks dominate the top ranks in The Banker’s first analysis of the fastest growing Europeans.

Moscow tests multi-service smart card for added value

January 5, 2004

The Moscow Social Card is being used as a pilot to measure the added value of dual interface smart card technology, combining credit/debit and social payments applications on a single card. Wendy Atkins reports on the scheme.

Support Putin or face a return to the bad old days

December 2, 2003

Western investors should back President Putin in his battle with the
oligarchs, who are likely to block any reforms that would harm their
own interests.

Font of prosperity

December 2, 2003

Having ignored his banking interests in favour of oil and metals, one
of Russia’s oligarchs has now discovered the cash cow that is retail
banking. Ben Aris writes.
Vladimir Potanin ignored his bank until a few months ago. One of
Russia’s classic seven oligarchs that came to the fore in the 1990s and
the owner of Interros industrial group, he was concentrating on
developing his core metallurgical companies such as Norilsk Nickel.

Russia’s latest space race

December 2, 2003

Funds are rushing to get a slice of Russia’s property pie before the limited supply of top quality buildings dries up. Ben Aris reports.
The leading Russian Trading System index sailed through its all time
high of 571 on October 9 to 637.77. With Russia’s blue chips already
trading at fair value, investors are looking for news ways to get some
exposure to Russia’s ballistic growth. They are turning to real
estate’s high returns and low risk and last month saw the first ever
institutional investment into real estate by a dedicated real estate
fund.

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