The legal battle between Rosneft-Sistema over Bashneft is one of the largest lawsuits involving Russian energy companies since the 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 investment environment.
Russia’s banking sector is undergoing the largest reshuffle in decades. The result is that over 50% of banking assets are controlled by a handful of large state- and private-owned entities, through which informal networks leverage their influence. Details of the power dynamics and influence power players wield over Russia’s banks are provided in the Report Store.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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Kazakhstan’s banking sector is undergoing a degree of restructuring. The indications are that the sector will undergo several mergers and acquisitions – which will involve banks with ties to the Presidential circle. With suggestions that the country is preparing for political transition, changes in the banking sector can be viewed as an integral part of elite negotiations for a post-Nazarbayev era.