Earlier this month, U.S. and European credit-rating agencies awarded Russia its first long-term credit rating since the 1917 Revolution. Russia’s BB grading was higher than expected, putting it on a level with Hungary, Mexico, India and Slovakia, and above Turkey, Venezuela and Brazil. (Segodnya, October 8; The Economist, October 12) Now the research consultancy Merchant International Group (MIG) has announced the findings of its own survey. On the basis of personal interviews with 2,500 western companies, MIG finds Russia to be the riskiest of the emerging markets for foreign investors. Complaints about high levels of corruption, fraud, and bureaucratic delays combine to make Russia a more dangerous place to do business than Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Indonesia — but less dangerous than Nigeria.(BBC World Service, October 17)
Russia Looks to the Middle East.