Business events of the year

IPOs, new capitalists and a stock market rush

In January-September 2007, Russian companies held 16 IPOs worth a total of $19.2bn.

Of this, more than $10bn fell to the two largest Russian banks: Sberbank (the Savings Bank), in which nearly every Russian keeps their savings now; and VTB, which was better known in the West as the foreign trade bank, or Vneshtorgbank, in Soviet years. Sberbank shares have gone up 10pc compared with their placement price, justifying the new shareholders' confidence.

Regrettably, the launching of the VTB IPO coincided with the beginning of the global liquidity crisis, so today VTB shares are 10pc down from May.

It is a fact that tens of thousands of people have speculated on the stock market this year. Russia has never seen so many people turned into capitalists overnight.

2014 Olympics: sports and economics

Sochi, the Black Sea resort that will host the Winter Olympics in seven years' time, is becoming one of the world's largest investment venues. Hundreds of companies are going to be submitting tenders for building the Olympic facilities. Most of them are foreign companies, which are planning to employ world-famous architects.

Sochi residents are complaining about a surge in property prices, though many of them have become millionaires overnight.

About 320bn roubles (more than $13bn) have already been allocated to build sports and infrastructure facilities. Thanks to the 2014 Winter Olympics, a modern all-seasons resort will appear in the south of Russia.

Nanotechnologies: worth a closer look

Nanotechnologies, which few people in Russia had heard of until recently, are now being talked about everywhere, in people's homes and in the Kremlin.

According to Andrei Fursenko, Minister of Science and Education, Russia spends more than 10bn roubles ($400m) annually on research and development in the sphere. The latest developments are used in the pharmaceutical, radioelectronic and other industries.

At the Russian President's initiative, a state nanotechnology corporation has been set up with an authorised capital of 30bn roubles (about $1.2bn).

Experts have no doubt that Russia will become a leader in this branch of science and business within a few years.

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