The chapter describes the current state of corporate governance in Russia and the dynamics of recent years. Important features of the environment that affect corporate governance include weak legal institutions that lead to high private benefits to control, underdeveloped capital markets, high levels of ownership concentration and significant state involvement in business. In this situation, the main conflict of interest is not between a manager and a large number of dispersed shareholders, but between large and small shareholders, between different large shareholders, and between minority shareholders and managers/board members in state-owned companies. Many of these features are very similar to other emerging markets, but substantially different from conditions faced by firms in developed countries. Despite substantial improvement during the 2000s, the quality of corporate governance in Russia is still much lower than in developed countries, primarily because of the low quality of Russian institutions.
The article familiarizes the reader with key ratings of corporate governance. It is concerned with the goals, specific features and methodology of such ratings as well as the availability of such ratings for Russian companies. The paper gives consideration to both commercial and research ratings. On basis of the analysis of existing ratings and research papers it is concluded that a scientifically substantiated algorithm for a corporate governance rating has not yet been created.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.