The legal battle between Rosneft-Sistema over Bashneft is one of the largest lawsuits involving Russian energy companies since the infamous Yukos case, which also involved illegal privatisation and the arrest of senior officials. Rightly so, investors are worried that this case will have significant repercussions for the country’s investment environment.
Over 50% of Russia’s banking assets are controlled by a handful of large state- and private-owned banks, through which informal networks leverage their power. Russia’s banking industry is undergoing the largest reshuffle in decades, which is likely to strengthen the influence of existing key power players and undermine the positon of smaller banks. To understand the power dynamics and the influence that key power players wield over Russia’s banks, Shadow Governance is releasing a Store Report on Russia’s banking sector, due for publication early next week.
As Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector is increasingly becoming of strategic importance to the country’s economy, it has attracted not only interest amongst the Kazakh political elite but also foreign investors, including China. This sector is starting to attract the attention of the country’s key power players.
With the 2018 presidential elections looming and the electoral campaign about to start, Russia’s political elite find themselves in disarray. The rumblings inside the Kremlin have it that the position of prime minister might soon become vacant – but who are the front runners, and what do they bring to the party?
Russia’s formal institutions are often undermined by informal institutions. This means that what the government says or legislates for is not a good guide to how the country is governed in practice. Instead of creating the conditions for stability and modernisation, Putin’s government has actually done the opposite and entrenched informality.
Free Article
The Kazakh economy has regained momentum as it enters a new post-crisis period. Foreign investments are needed to uphold the pace of economic growth, but are Kazakh efforts to build transparency real or a façade?
Ukraine’s agriculture sector has the potential to become the most profitable for investors. However, it is not without risks – including poor transport infrastructure, cases of corporate raiding, and persistent corruption concerns.
Nominee ownership is a common tool used by politically exposed individuals in Kazakhstan to obscure their assets, or increase their corporate tax efficiency. Shadow Governance research on Dutch companies with shares in some of Kazakhstan’s most lucrative industries reveals how members of the political elite use opaque mailbox companies in the Netherlands; ostensibly for tax avoidance.
Over the past few years, children of Russia’s elite groups have – with increasing frequency - been appointed to high-profile positions in state-owned corporations and ministries, or have taken over their parents’ business. Shadow Governance examines how blood relations, combined with strong societal networks, are used to exert influence and engage in resource distribution.
With the presidential elections in less than a year, all domestic developments in Russia should be interpreted through the prism of the ongoing electoral campaign. While Putin’s re-election is not questioned, evolving international, economic and social context pose new challenges to his campaign, and intensify elite infighting.
Free Article
After Prezident Mirziyoyev’s first official visit to the Kremlin, it is becoming increasingly evident that Tashkent is seeking to improve economic relations. There are indications that Uzbekistan is revealing an emerging predilection for attracting Russian investment.
Russia’s Far East is increasingly on the radar of the Russian government. This resource-rich but economically-depressed region has been courted as a new hub to the Asia Pacific. Shadow Governance Intel looks at the increasing number of investment opportunities that this region has to offer.