If approved, the new legal amendments proposed by Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development would allow companies not to disclose corporate information, including ownership structures. This government’s latest attempt to protect strategically important companies, and loyal individuals, from international sanctions may seriously affect the rights of minority shareholders and the overall transparency of business.
Plans for the creation of an Islamic finance infrastructure represent the latest expression of commitment by the Mirziyoyev administration to reform Uzbekistan’s notoriously opaque banking sector. Nevertheless, Islamic banking in the country remains vulnerable to co-option by national elites.
Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg are the main victims of the new round of U.S. sanctions imposed last month. The two long-time commercial rivals and known Kremlin’s loyalists have found themselves in the same boat; relying on their ties to elite networks for the survival of their business empires. Shadow Governance Intel analyses what political and societal networks Deripaska and Vekselberg can look to, to stay afloat amid the new round of U.S. sanctions, explaining why their stories are important to monitor.
Last month Naftogaz celebrated a big victory in a lawsuit against Gazprom. However, its domestic battles have been far less victorious. One major stumbling point is the system of gas supplies dominated by oligarch Dmitry Firtash. Despite international pressure, and the obvious economic benefits of unbundling the system of gas supply and distribution, the government has been reluctant to challenge Firtash’s monopoly. Shadow Governance Intel analyses the standoff between Naftogaz and the Firtash-controlled regional gas suppliers, and explains why the government continues to resist change.
The scandal around Cambridge Analytica (more specifically, its dealings with LUKOIL) has demonstrated that it is not only state-owned companies that the Kremlin uses for political purposes. Large private companies in Russia face an interesting conundrum: although they need well-connected shareholders to ensure stability and compensate for institutional weakness, these very shareholders often present commercial, investment and reputational risks.
This is Part II of a two-part series reviewing Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. In today's analysis, we look at the key corporate players involved in the nascent renewable energy market, assess its investment potential, and forecast if the trend of green energy is likely to last in Russia.
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This is Part I of a two-part series looking at Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. An evolving economic and international context has pushed the Russian authorities into paying attention to the country's green energy potential. In part I, we examine the country's renewable energy capacity and existing support programmes for prospective investors.
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While there is little intrigue about the outcome of 2018 presidential elections in Russia, there is less certainty about what will come after the 2024 transition of power. What is the importance of Putin’s 4th presidential term? Which elite structures stand to gain or to lose over the next 6 years? What are the likely successor scenarios? The answers to these questions – answered during Shadow Governance Intel’s first webinar on 14 December - will define Russia’s stability for the years to come.
A draft proposal for a new Investment Code was released earlier this month in Uzbekistan. Devised to bring legislation on investment relations under one umbrella, and introduce market transparency, the draft code shows promise. Even if passed into law before 2018, implementation will be a struggle. Mirziyoyev realistically operates in a system that is still rooted in patron-client relations, nepotism and corruption.
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Tajikistan’s investment environment is inhospitable, regardless of an investors appetite for risk. Business and politics are inseparable in the country, and the political elite successfully manipulate the political and commercial environment to their benefit – seen through cases of embezzlement, corruption, intimidation of rivals, and the diversion of profits offshore. Those who challenge the Presidential family in private enterprise inevitably face repercussions.
A month after the Saudi King’s landmark visit to Moscow, the courtship between Russia and the Saudis is yet to show signs of a slowdown. While a lot of the discussion revolves around the geopolitical dividends for the Kremlin, the new partnership has more pragmatic business implications for key power players. Shadow Governance looks beyond the headlines to uncover the key Russian benefactors of the new friendship between Moscow and Riyadh.
Tajikistan’s kleptocratic system is characterised by government critics as one in which the ruling elite would rather have 100% of a $1 million pie, rather than 10% of a $100 million pie. This sentiment highlights the risks associated with doing business in a country where business and politics truly are inseparable.