Public private partnerships and concessions are effective tools to allow governments to partner with the private sector to develop and finance key infrastructure projects. These forms of collaboration are particularly relevant in Russia, where infrastructure investment needs are estimated by the World Bank to be about USD 1 trillion.
The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).
"The biggest challenge for companies in Russia today is the serious administrative burden," says Andrei Gusev, Managing Partner at Borenius Russia. "There are a huge number of outdated conglomerate regulations in various sectors, applied since the Soviet times, that leads to contradictions among requirements and regulations."
On January 8, 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that the X5 Retail Group had acquired a supermarket chain operating under the "O’Key" brand in Russia. Later we learned that the acquired supermarket chain was LLC Razvitiye Malykh Formatov. We invited Tatiana Sumarokova, Head of M&A Legal Support Division at X5 Retail Group, to share her thoughts on X5's cooperation with external counsel in the transaction.
Although January was “a little bit quiet in the market” in Russia, February was more promising, according to Eric Michailov, Partner at White & Case Moscow, who reports seeing more deals and new investors coming into the country. “I am particularly optimistic — even more so than I would have been six or twelve months ago,” he says. “Business is good. Not great — it is not a full easy go — but pretty good.”
The Russian tax landscape is going through a period of transformation. The average value of assessments as a result of tax audits is increasing and taxpayers are losing more disputes. Various changes to the tax laws have acted as a contributing factor. The introduction of the anti-abuse concept of “beneficial ownership” in domestic legislation, the development of tax residency and CFC rules, and the enactment of new thin capitalization rules are just a few of the recent changes that are already having an impact on taxpayers in Russia.