Articles by Peter France



State May Cut Stake In VTB To 50%

The government may sell more than 35 percent of VTB to bring its stake in the bank to just over 50 percent, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said in comments released Monday, a move that may force the lender toward greater transparency.

Medvedev Targets Overpriced Medical Equipment

President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government to prepare amendments to a law on government purchases, after regional authorities bought CT scanners for as much as four times the factory price.

Presidium Approves 2011-13 Budget Outline

The Presidium approved an outline for the 2011-13 federal budget, which included a large infusion of funding for federal targeted programs and a steadily decreasing deficit.

Finance Ministry Seeks $33Bln Through Tax Hikes

The Finance Ministry wants to raise the extraction tax on gas by 61 percent next year, followed by hikes of 6 percent and 5.4 percent in 2012 and 2013, respectively, said Ilya Trunin, head of the ministry's tax policy department.

Inspections of Small Businesses Decrease

Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said the number of unplanned business inspections has significantly dropped since new rules went into effect limiting the regulatory burden on enterprises.

Motivating People to Participate in Skolkovo

Getting people to participate in an innovative economy has been a success for the government, Sergei Belousov told The Moscow Times. The software company entrepreneur also said he is co-founding a $30 million early-stage investment fund.

Study Links Holocaust to Low GDP

A new study suggests that the annihilation of Soviet Jews during the Nazi occupation has led to lower economic growth and more reactionary politics in those 11 regions where the Holocaust was most brutal.

Volatility, Greece Cause Market Nosedive

Russian markets made their steepest drop since October, diving deeper into a correction after investors abandoned emerging markets.

Stocks See Modest Gains in Q1

Stocks finished the first quarter of 2010 ahead of where they started, having weathered a correction and subsequent rally, and are poised to continue their rise well into the second quarter, driven by high oil prices and good news from abroad.

Foreign Funds Take New Look at Russia

A total of $411 million flowed into Russian funds over the week ending March 11, the highest level since October, far outstripping investment flows into Russia's BRIC peers, according to fund tracker EPFR Global.

Investigators Slam State Corporations

In addition to several criminal violations, the prosecutor's office found numerous problems including unsanctioned outsourcing, excessive bonuses and absent supervisors.

Antitrust Watchdog Fines Rosneft $180M

The service found the firms in violation of the law in July, accusing them of deliberately driving up wholesale prices for gasoline and other oil products in the first half of 2009.

Putin Tells Engineers To Improve Production

Prime Minister Putin lashed out at manufacturing titans Wednesday for the industry’s poor competitiveness and low-quality products, adding that firms should use government aid to fix their production methods.

Putin Slams Manufacturing Industry

Putin said while companies throughout the world were also experiencing production cuts and a shrinking market, domestic firms should use government funds and trade preferences to fix their production methods and increase the quality of their products.

Putin Finds an Extra $4.6Bln for Budget

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that government would modify legislation to free up much-needed funds for the 2010 budget.

China in Town

""China ... Forward!"" a new exhibition of Chinese contemporary art at TsUM, probes the reality of life in the modern superpower.