10.10.2013


The following information focuses on general business and investment information, particularly that affecting businesses opening on the Russian market. This library entry was compiled in association with The US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England (USRCCNE) and Alinga Consulting Group.

Each month the SRAS newsletter features news and information about Russia, its politics, culture, and language!


 
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Russian Business and Investment
with emphasis on international interests

Table of Contents

  1. Business News and Information
  2. Market Entry, Banking, and Venture Capital
  3. Networking
  4. Stocks, Securities, Exchanges, Etc.
  5. Ratings

Color Code:   Red links are to sites only in Russian.  
                     Gray links have English available.

1.  Business News and Information
         report an error          back to top

A. General News Sources

Prime is an offshoot of ITAR-TASS, a state-owned Russian news agency. Prime has considerable information, organized by subject and industry sector, on the Russian economy.

The Moscow Times is Russia's largest English-language daily newspaper - with extensive business and political coverage.

Vedomosti is Russia's most respected business news source and enjoys an active partnership with the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.  

RBC Daily is one of Russia's most popular business news sources, with a paper, magazine, and television channel.

Kommersant is also oft-listed as a favorite newspaper for Russian businessmen.

B. Business Info, Stats, and Analysis

TradingEconomics provides graphs of Russian economic information.

RUSTOCKS.com collects original corporate materials, company profiles, market professionals' opinions and forecasts, brokers research, as well as news line and press clippings of major Russian market events.

Corporate Information offers short descriptions and info for dozens of listed companies in Russia.

The Bank of Finland releases regular reports on its studies of the Russian economy.  

The Central Bank helps regulate and monitor securities trading and IMF reporting. The website has financial news, some analytical material, and current facts and figures.

The OECD supplies news, whitepapers, and studies about many countries, including Russia.

C. Financial News, Investment Markets

The Angel Investor is a collection of blogs and articles with a focus on angel investing and venture capital in Russia.

Truth and Beauty... was founded in 1997 "to counter the widespread disinformation in the Western Media, and to guide investors interested in accessing what were to prove to be the world’s best-performing bond and equity markets."

Rynok Tsennykh Bumag is a Russian-language new source focused on Russian securities. They have archives and some articles online.

CBonds is a major new source for those issuing or investing in bonds from the CIS.

D. Specialized Business News

The Alinga Market Update provides free, bilingual monthly news detailing changes to tax regulations, commercial and labor law, and more.

Marchmont specializes in reporting on startups and technology companies in the Russian regions and is also now one of the rare sources of authoritative information about venture capital in those regions.

C-News is a new news source providing regular high quality news about the Russian IT industry.

ConstructionRussia.ru is an industry site with news and information.

Klerk.ru is a widely used and respected site providing the nitty-gritty of business news - with separate sections for accounting, law, banking, management, and programming (a major growth sector for the Russian economy).   

Glavbukh.ru is another such site specialized in law, taxation, and accounting news.   

E. Additional News Sources

More Resource-Related Business News Sources >>>
More General Russia-Related News Sources >>>

 

2.  Market Entry, Banking, and Venture Capital
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A. Market Entry Services

Alinga Consulting Group, a partner company to SRAS, provides business support services including accounting, audit, and legal consulting. International and Russian companies often find these services invaluable in Russia's complex and often legally vague markets. See especially their Guide to Entering the Russian Market.

Many other such companies also operate in this large and growing market, including each of the "Big Four:" PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Deloitte; Ernst and Young; and KPMG

Case Studies / Strategies for Market Entry: Lineaus University (PDF); Case Studies for Food Market (PDF); Slide Shows on Various Market Segments; Market Entry Guide (Luxemburg for Business); Market Entry Guide (Alinga Consulting).

B. Banking

 
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The Association of Russian Banks is an NGO that unites commercial banks and other credit organizations. It provides for arbitration between them and attempts to raise the standards of banking in Russia.

Contributors to This Page:

Wikipedia gives a general overview of banking regulation in Russia.

Some of Russia's largest banks and investment institutions include:
Troika Dialogue (Russia's largest and oldest investment bank)
Renaissance Capital (also a major research firm, oft quoted in the media)
VTB offers retail, corporate and investment banking; broking and other stock-market services; insurance; asset management; leasing; and more.
Sberbank (Russia's largest savings bank - also handles most government transactions)
AlfaBank (one of Russia's leaders in brokering IPOs)

The Moscow Business Telephone Guide lists banks active in Moscow as well as representative offices of foreign banks.

C. Venture Capital, Angel Investing

The Russian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association is an industry association that lobbies government and commercial structures and facilitates communication and information sharing.

RVC is a government fund of funds and a development institute of the Russian Federation, one of Russia's key tools in building its own national innovation system.

Rusnano is a state instrument promoting nanotechnology in Russia through commercial mechanisms: by co-investing in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential.

The Russian Venture Fair is an annual event that brings investing institutions and persons together with entrepreneurs in Russia.

The Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) is a state organisation set up to help grow small business in Russia.

Angel.Co has a list of angel investors in Russia that you can follow social-media style.

NBAA is a Russia-wide trade association for business-angels, seed funds, and other early stage VC market players.

Articles:
Venture Capital, Russian Style (Forbes)
Venture Capital, done Russian Style (RBTH)

D. Other Funding Information Sources 

Export-Import Bank of the United States supports the financing of US goods and services, turning export opportunities into real transactions, maintaining and creating more US jobs. They assume credit and country risks the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is the largest single investor in the FSU and mobilises significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing.

 

3. Networking           report an error          back to top

RedTape.ru is a forum largely populated by long-term expats in Russia, expat veterans, and English-fluent Russians who have befriended them.

Expat.ru is essentially a much larger version of RedTape.ru. There are several long-term expats here, but also many more short-term expats, and many, many more Russians of various levels of English fluency.

 
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Internations unites international professionals on the ground in various major cities across the globe. Emphasis is placed on physical meetings. Moscow now has an active branch.

VKontakte, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all widely used in Russia. 

Volunteering can be a great way to meet locals, learn the language, and gain experience. Especially some of Russia's older charities also have long-term expats that regularly volunteer - and thus can be a great way to meet higher-level managers and even executives on the ground.

SRAS Interviews has a large collection of interviews with people who have studied, interned, found employment, and founded business in Russia.

The Jewish Business Club furthers entrepreneurial, SME activity, experience exchange, acquiring of connections in business sphere.

Russian Venture Fair is an annual event in St. Petersburg for venture capitalists.

St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is a major annual conference in Russia.

 

4. International Business Organizations           report an error          back to top

 
Recommended Books:
 

The American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham-Russia) is the largest and most influential foreign business organization in Russia. It is an impact player in the policy-making arenas of both the US and Russian governments, endorsing solutions to trade and investment issues that protect and benefit the interests of over 800 member companies.

The US-Russia Business Council (USRBC) is an American trade association that represents the interests of 300 member companies operating in the Russian market.

Moscow International Business Association unites the Moscow City Government with many major businesses. Most of the site is in Russian only, with the exception of the "Tuesday Newsletter."

Coalition for US-Russia Trade is a broad-based group of US companies and trade associations from every major sector of the U.S. economy. Its site contains resources for understanding trade policy and current events.  

The Center for Entrepreneurship is an initiative of the US Russia Investment Fund (Delta Private Equity Partners), a leading private equity fund in Russia that seeks to educate and assist Russian entrepreneurs grow businesses.

The US Russia Foundation gives grants to build ties between the US and Russia while focusing on "enterprise, accountability, and partnership."

The American Business Association of Russian Professionals is a non-profit business association of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, engineers, lawyers and other professionals with headquarters in Silicon Valley.

Russia Innovation Collaborative connects key institutions and stakeholders in Russia with those in Massachusetts, Silicon Valley and throughout the US and Europe with the goal of increasing economic wealth.

Foundation for Russian American Economic Cooperation (FRAEC) seeks to further economic and community ties with Russia while maintaining a unique focus on the Russian Far East.

The SABIT Training Program enables US companies to develop local knowledge by establishing partnerships and training local Eurasian management. This is run by the International Trade Administration of the US government.

A. US Regional Chambers of Commerce

Mid-Atlantic - Russia Business Council (Philadelphia-Russia Business Council) fosters business relations between Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the US Mid-Atlantic region, while cultivating mutual appreciation of political, economic, cultural, and educational interests.

The US-Russia Chamber of Commerce of New England, Inc. (USRCCNE) is a non-profit business organization for companies and professional individuals involved with economic activity in Russia and the FSU. It promotes business and cultural ties.

The US-Russia Chamber of Commerce (USRCC), based in Houston, Texas, was established in 2009 to promote business between Russia and the U.S., with a focus on the State of Texas.

American-Russian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ARCCI) is based in Chicago and is geared to promote trade and mutual understanding with Russia.

B. Business Organizations from other Countries

Most developed countries have at least one organization established to promote trade with Russia. See, for example, those for Britain, the European Union, Canada, Australia, Finland, and Denmark.

More Resource-Related Business Organizations >>>

 

5. Stocks, Securities, Etc.          report an error          back to top

 
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a. Russian Stock Markets & Currency Exchanges

The Moscow Exchange (MOEX) is Russia's lagest stockmarket since merging with the former #1, RTS. MFB is also the largest universal currency exchange in Russia, the CIS and Eastern Europe.

The National Foreign Currency Association is an industry association seeking to advance exchange and money markets within Russia.

The St-Petersburg Stock Exchange (SPBEX) is number two stockmarket in Russia in terms of activity.

The St. Petersburg Interbank Currency Exchange (SPCEX) is another of Russia's largest exchanges and handles a large percentage of exchange activity with Russia's close economic partner Finland.

Other major exchanges in Russia include The Urals Regional Currency Exchange (UREX), and the Samara Currency Interbank Exchange (SCIEX).

b. Russian Stocks on Foreign Markets

NYSE - Now lists several major Russian companies and provides a dedicated page to them.

The London Stock Exchange is by far the most popular foreign exchange for Russian companies to list with.

c. Russian Securities (Regulators)

National Securities Market Association is an industry self-regulatory structure, apparently most focused on banks and state structures which issue securities.

National Association of Securities Market Participants (NAUFOR) is a Russian self-regulatory organization that unites professional securities market participants: brokers, dealers, trust managers and depositories.

The Professional Association of Registrars, Transfer Agents and Depositories (PARTAD) is a regulatory agency for registrars, depositories, and clearing organizations.

 

6.  Russian Government Agencies           report an error          back to top

The Ministry of Economic Development is a sprawling organization which regulates and/or advises on nearly everything to do with the economy. 

Federal Customs Service enforces customs legislation and controls the amount of currency entering/leaving Russia and confiscate contraband. 

Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) compiles figures on crime, economic indicators, production stats, and IMF reporting.  The English is useful and abundant, but sometimes is direct translation and therefore a little confusing.  

Federal Tax Service is Russia's IRS. Their website is detailed, organized, and largely available in English. Most documents are Russian-only. Businesses deal most directly not with the federal service, but with regional tax inspectorates, such as this one in MoscowThe Tax Service also provides this brief video description of Russia's tax system. 

The Central Bank controls the money supply and interest rates and sets standards for banking activities. It also helps regulate and monitor securities trading and IMF reporting. The Central Bank recently became a "super regular" after absorbing the power to regulate Russia's financial markets from the former Federal Financial Markets Service (FFMS).

The Ministry of Finance reports on economic indicators, advises on reform issues concerning banking, the budget, regional tax collection, and pension fund. Also in charge of managing the state budget and national debt. 

Federal Anti-Monopoly Service regulates large mergers and acquisitions as well as any large business openings. 

Federal Tariff Service regulates the prices of utilities (gas, water, communal housing, etc.)

Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents, and Trademarks (Rospatent) registers and protects trademarks and intellectual property under the The Ministry of Economic Development.

More Government Agencies >>>

 

7.  Unions and Russian Business Organizations           report an error          back to top

 
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Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) is a nation-wide, independent, public organization aimed at consolidating the efforts of industrialists and businessmen in Russia to improve the business environment inside Russia.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation promotes the growth of the Russian economy and its integration into the world economic system and provides favorable conditions for the advancement of all business sectors.

Moscow Association of Entrepreneurs is actually a nationwide organization working with the government and other organizations to support Russian business in Russia. They also publish a corporate journal and a how-to guide on opening and operating a small business (published in 25 volumes and known as the Small Business Encyclopedia). 

The Association of Managers of Russia is an independent non-government organization working in the best interests of the Russian executive managers' community. Their home page is available in English, but all other pages including links, publications, events, etc. are only in Russian. 

Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia and the All-Russia Confederation of Labor are two nation-wide unions of unions.

Council for Trade and Economic Cooperation is a non-profit organization supporting and facilitating trade between the U.S. and the CIS.

More on Labor Unions for Resource-Related Industries>>>

 

8.  Russian Businesses and Their Competition       report an error      back to top

The Moscow Business Telephone Guide is Moscow's bilingual yellow pages. 

36.6 is large chain of Russian pharmacies.

Sedmoi Kontenent and X5 are the biggest players in Russian-owned grocery store chains. 
Some of their foreign competition: Ramstore (Turkish), Metro Cash and Carry (German).

Eldorado, MVideo, and Tehnosilo are Russian-owned stores dealing in consumer goods and electronics. 
Some of their foreign competition: MediaMarkt (German)

Elki-Polki, Prime, and Teremok are Russian-owned restaurant chains.
Some of their foreign competition: McDonalds, Sbarro, Subway

RUSSOFT is Russia's association of software developers. 
Some of their foreign competition: NASSCOM (India), CSIA (China) 

Russian Resource-Related Corporations >>>

 

9. Ratings          report an error          back to top

RusRating is an independent rating agency that rates banks, leasing companies, and bonds.

ExpertRA rates insurance companies, bonds, as well as company's social responsibility and market influence.

Standard and Poor's gives credit ratings to major Russian corporations and government structures. In addition, it provides corporate governance scores.

Moody's Interfax Rating Agency give credit ratings to banks, corporations, and government structures.

Fitch's issues credit ratings to sovereign governments, such as Russia.

 


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