Articles by Alex Fak



Russians Feel Poorer Than Statistics Show

When the Soviet state made millions of schoolchildren intone on the first day of class, ""Thank you, the Party, for our bright future,"" it could hardly have imagined that the brainwashing scheme would turn against its successors.

Banks Lose Accounts on U.S. Clampdown

A number of U.S. banks, including a U.S. unit of Germany's Deutsche Bank, have cut ties with small and medium-sized Russian lenders in recent weeks as they bow to pressure from regulators over money laundering.

Russian Markets Keep Breaking New Records

Russian stock exchanges posted a third consecutive day of gains on Wednesday, led by strong demand for energy stocks across the board.

Oil Propels RTS to a Record High

The benchmark Russian Trading System index rose by one-half of a percentage point on Monday to set a new closing record, capping an unprecedented summer rally that has channeled foreign investors' surplus cash into Russian equities.

Inflation Tops Poll of Consumer Concerns

More Russians are worried about inflation than any other issue, including terrorism and crime, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Societe Generale Eyeing Entry Into Russian Mortage Market

French banking giant Societe Generale is set to take over DeltaCredit, Russia's largest private mortgage lender, an anonymous source familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

Strong Dollar Drives More Cash Overseas

The government has raised its estimate for capital outflow this year, as dollar appreciation against the ruble is expected to divert investment away from the country, a senior forecaster said.

Moscow Calm About Stronger Yuan

Russia on Friday welcomed the news that China was letting its currency appreciate, though analysts said that the move would have little impact on the Russian economy.

Report: Yukos Deputy CEO Is Next

Yury Beilin, the deputy CEO of Yukos oil company, will be indicted on Tuesday, Interfax reported, citing an unnamed source close to Yukos.

Uncertainty Lingers Despite Tax Ruling

The investment community is divided over last week's Constitutional Court ruling on back tax inspections, saying its impact will depend on how the tax authorities and lower courts choose to interpret the decision.

Court Opens a Back Tax Loophole

The Constitutional Court ruling allows tax inspectors to investigate companies beyond the three-year statute of limitations.

Kudrin: Output Will Reach Soviet-Era Levels in 2 Years

Within next two years, Russia's annual economic output will finally reach the level of 1990, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the Federation Council on Monday.

Leaked G8 Paper Is Open to Interpretation

President Vladimir Putin looks set to sign an international pledge to remove barriers to investment in the oil sector, despite his government's efforts to push through a law that would curtail foreign participation in energy projects.

Doubts Pursue Putin to G8 Summit

President Vladimir Putin is set to arrive at the Group of Eight summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, on Wednesday, even as Russia's contribution to the group increasingly comes into question.

Lack of Trust Carries Heavy Toll

Would you trust a stranger on a train to look after your bag while you run to the toilet? Probably not if you're Russian.

Severstal and RTL Take Over Ren-TV

  • 04 July 05
  • Staff Writers
The liberal-minded owners of Ren-TV, the last national television channel that offers critical news coverage, have sold a controlling stake to Kremlin-friendly steel giant Severstal, raising the specter of total state control over the country's television airwaves.

Khristenko Promises Clarity for Investors

  • 01 July 05
  • Staff Writers
Foreign investors will either get a definitive list of strategic sectors where their participation is restricted, or a clear set of case-by-case guidelines, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko told a Cabinet meeting Thursday.

Steelmaker Caught in Overseas Legal Tangle

Steel giant Evraz Group and the banks behind its recent initial public offering may face investigation by financial authorities in Britain and the United States over information given on its IPO prospectus.

Gazprom Tightens Its Grip on Energy Sector

Less than a year after the world's largest gas producer began gobbling up assets, Gazprom's trademark blue flame is set to engulf Russia's entire energy sector.

Petrodollars Fail to Fuel Economic Expansion

Just as crude prices stormed to new heights last September, Russian oil producers appeared to have given up. They added less and less output as the year wound down.

Officials Warn of Rising Prices

Government officials were out in force Monday, reassuring investors that Russia was on track to meet its inflation target for 2005, but they repeated that containing runaway prices depended on maintaining a strict hold on spending.

OECD Slams State for Meddling in Economy

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Monday accused Russia of abandoning important economic reforms and advised the government to stop meddling in the economy.

Gazprom Eyes a Share in Sakhalin Oil Fields

Gas giant Gazprom wants to buy into two oil fields on Sakhalin Island in the Far East as it seeks to branch into the oil business, Alexander Medvedev, head of Gazprom’s export unit, said Friday.

Duma Bill Aims for Tech Parks

In a bid to attract foreign technology investment, the State Duma on Thursday approved the first draft of legislation to set up industrial parks offering tax incentives.

Broker: Surge in IPOs Hinders Russian Stocks

The unprecedented surge in recent public share offerings is partly responsible for the lackluster performance of the stock market since the beginning of the year, said a report from brokerage Aton Capital.

Ernst & Young Quits CIS Law Operations

Ernst & Young's legal practice in Russia and the CIS is preparing to split from its parent company and join DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary to form one of the region's largest law firms, sources from both companies said.

S&P Slams Politicians' Meddling in Decisions

Russian state-controlled companies tend to keep private shareholders in the dark on key investment issues, particularly if the lack of disclosure stands to benefit people connected to the government, said a scathing report released worldwide on Tuesday by ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

Central Bank Fudges on Ruble

The Central Bank said Monday that it planned to let the underlying value of the ruble rise by as much as 10 percent this year, above its previous target of 8 percent, in a move to help the government fight inflation.

Yukos 'Not Last Case,' Top Prosecutor Warns

Prosecutors intend to bring charges against other oligarchs besides former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a top prosecutor said in televised remarks late Sunday.

IMF Slams Cabinet for Spending Hikes

The International Monetary Fund on Friday criticized the government's plan to spend oil revenues on welfare, urging it to focus on measures to combat inflation and improve the investment climate.