The Role of Corporate Groups in Russia
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Publication date: 2011-12-31
GNPJE 2011;252(11-12):61-81
The paper focuses on the origins, organizational structure and operations of corporate groups in Russia and their role in the economy. Corporate groups began to emerge and develop in Russia in the early 1990s in the wake of the privatization of state-owned enterprises, the author says. Their development was influenced by the so-called “loans for shares” program and a financial crisis in 1998. Most of Russia’s corporations have developed through either vertical or horizontal integration, and they also emerged in the form of conglomerates. Most corporations operate in industries such as oil, gas, chemicals, petrochemicals, power, metallurgy, steel and machinery. Characteristically, there are specific financial and interpersonal ties between representatives of individual companies within each group, Fiedorczuk says. In most Russian corporate groups, the main owners are oligarchs, or wealthy businessmen with an extensive network of political connections. Corporations play an important role in Russia’s economic, political and social life, the author notes. But they are also under heavy pressure from the country’s political authorities. As in other developing countries, corporate groups in Russia outperform single businesses in terms of financial and economic indicators. Overall, corporations may be an optimal response to market and government failures in a process of economic transition, Fiedorczuk concludes.
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