Articles by Jessica Bachman



СRICТ States See Role In New World Order

The ministers said they would collectively leverage their status as three of the worldТs developing giants to make the international governance structure more emerging-market friendly.

Moscow to Bankroll Hotel on Rossiya Site

Hard up for investors, the Moscow city government has decided to take matters into its own hands and finance the first phase of construction of a more than $1 billion development on the site of the former monolithic Rossiya Hotel.

Yakunin Has $4.3Bln Plan to Speed Up Trains

Russian Railways on Thursday signed up to a $4.3 billion project with Austria, Slovakia and Ukraine aimed at cutting down on delivery time for rail shipments between Asia and Europe.

Factories Put Stimulus Cash to Work

Of the 300 workers employed at a gear-cutting machine plant in the Saratov region, only 17 are working exclusively in the jobs they were hired to do.

Internet Advertising Poised to Grow

Russia’s once-booming advertising market will contract by at least 10 percent this year, but Internet advertising remains unaffected and looks poised to grow, ad executives said Tuesday.

Cops Will Have to Declare Income to Bosses
By Natalya Krainova / The Moscow TimesTaking a cue from President Dmitry Medvedev's transparency drive, a senior Interior Ministry official said Wednesday that rank-and-file police officers — widely seen as the country's most corrupt public servants — will be required to show their tax declarations to their bosses.

State Says It's in Control Of Bad Loan Situation

The number of bad loans in the country's banking system is ""under control,"" First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Friday in Astana, Kazakhstan, while an official said bad loans may account for up to 20 percent of the sector's credit portfolio.

State Rolls Out Small Business Plan

Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina rolled out a three-year development program worth 740 billion rubles ($23 billion) for small and medium-sized businesses at the state Presidium meeting on Monday in an ambitious reflection of the government's unprecedented interest in this long-neglected sector of the economy.

Beer Makers Hit by Slump in Sales

The largest players on the Russian beer market, Baltika and Anheuser-Busch InBev, saw their domestic sales drop in the first quarter as consumption declined for the first time since 1996.

Competition Making Renovation Cheaper

Nadezhda Karavayeva and her husband had been on the fence about remodeling their apartment. Companies were demanding high prices for their services, and bargaining, she said, was not an option.

Budget For St. Pete Forum Cut By 25%

Nabiullina offers a preview of the country's top annual economic conference, which opens June 4.

Sberbank's Q4 Earnings Down 80%

Sberbank saw its fourth-quarter earnings tumble 80 percent to 7.5 billion rubles ($224 million), largely in line with analyst projections, driven mainly by increased provisions for nonperforming loans.

State Demography Policy Won't Work, UN Warns

The United Nations cautioned Friday that the government's demographic policy would fall far short of its goal of stabilizing a rapid decrease in the country's population, which could contract by 10 million to 20 million people over the next 16 years.

Senator's Son Takes Charge After Buying French Paper

Alexander Pugachyov, the 23-year-old son of Senator Sergei Pugachyov, has been named general director of the French tabloid France-Soir, Agence France Presse reported Friday.

VTB Surprises With $212M Profit

State-controlled VTB said Thursday that it managed a $212 million net profit last year, outperforming expectations with hefty gains on bond buybacks in the fourth quarter even as provisions for bad loans soared.

Ingosstrakh Notes Skyrocketing Fraud

The insurer estimates that 80 percent of arson claims are fraudulent.

Public Says Farmers Need the Most Help

Agriculture is the most crucial sector, 72 percent of respondents say.

VSMPO, Airbus Clinch $4Bln Deal

VSMPO-Avisma's stock soared Monday on the news that it had clinched a $4 billion deal to supply Airbus and its parent company, French and German aerospace giant EADS, with titanium products through 2020.

Rescuing Tourism With Spas and Cheap Fares

At least 10 percent fewer foreign tourists are expected to visit Russia this year, and the government is hoping to convince Russians to spend their vacations at home to make up for the shortfall, Federal Tourism Agency head Anatoly Yarochkin said.

State in Unrivaled Drive to Clean Up Fishing

But fishing companies fear that the tightening of regulations, including a new "All Fish Ashore" law, will make them unprofitable.

Scuttled Ad Campaign Has Last Word

Business FM has kicked off an April advertising campaign that takes a stealthy jab at the Moscow city government, which the radio station accuses of scuttling its original series of crisis-themed ads.

Gref Warns of a New Banking Crisis

Sberbank CEO German Gref warned that a second wave of the crisis was about to sweep over the banking sector on Wednesday, two days after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told State Duma members that banks were out of trouble.

Economy Fell 5.4% In March, VTB Says

The economy declined 5.4 percent last month compared with March 2008, VTB Capital said in a report released on Monday.

Ignatyev Says Worst Of Bank Woes Over

Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said Friday that the worst of the crisis is over and the bank may soon be able to lower its refinancing rate for the first time since 2007.

Small Banks Beg State for Respite

The heads of hundreds of small banks flocked to Moscow on Friday to lobby against a new law that could force them to close by the end of the year, but Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin insisted that the government would not budge.

VTB to Open Unit As Arrears Increase

VTB Group on Thursday announced their expansion into yet another financial field, saying it will begin buying up struggling firms' accounts receivable as payment arrears across the country skyrocket.

Ad Agency Nixes Billboards Satirizing Crisis

A radio station's advertising campaign needling officials and lampooning the government's anti-crisis measures has been largely shelved after an advertising firm deemed the content "too offensive and provocative."

Government Eyes $2.1Bln Farm Aid

The state may put 72 billion rubles ($2.1 billion) toward domestic dairies and meat producers to curb RussiaТs dependence on imported food products, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said Monday.

Rosselkhozbank Sets Aside $600M for Fish

Rosselkhozbank has set aside 20 billion rubles ($600 million) for the fishing industry this year, chairman Yury Trushin said Thursday.

Medvedev Creates State Firm For Grain Market Purchases

President Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order establishing a state grain-trading company based on the Agency for Commodity Market Regulation, according to a statement posted on the Kremlin's web site Monday.

Gone Are the Days of Farsighted Advertisers

Swedbank, the Swedish banking giant, rolled out a 35 million ruble ($1 million) brand awareness campaign last fall to herald its entry into the Russian retail market.