Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Moscow: The least worst place for your money

   Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital was a big backer of Moscow’s ambition to become a major emerging-markets financial centre, a bridge between European and Asian capital, a rival to Dubai.

    It not only trumpeted the idea, but was one of the first big local firms to take out offices in a sleek glass skyscraper by the Moscow River, surrounded by foundation pits and towers of naked steel girders that were to become Moscow’s Canary Wharf.       Then the financial crisis hit in September 2008, knocking back the city’s ambitions.       Renaissance Capital President Ruben Aganbegyan said, however, that other world financial centres were inadvertently helping Moscow’s case despite its setbacks.       “A lot of people in the world are doing everything they can to help us,” Aganbegyan told the 2009 Reuters Russian Investment Summit. “Like the UK raising taxes.”     Russia instituted a 13 percent flat income tax rate in 2001 to stop rampant tax evasion. Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the summit that Russia would try to avoid raising taxes to cover budget deficits for at least three years

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