The Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment (VCC), a joint undertaking of the Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York, are releasing the results of their second joint survey of Russian outward investors today. The survey is part of a long-term study of the rapid global expansion of multinational enterprises (MNEs) from emerging markets. The present survey, conducted at the beginning of 2011, covers the period 2007-2009.

Despite the global crisis of the last few years, Russia has remained one of the leading outward investors in the world. The foreign assets of Russian MNEs have grown rapidly and only China and Mexico are further ahead among emerging markets. As the results of our survey show, several nonfinancial Russian MNEs are significant actors in the world economy. The foreign assets of the 20 leading non-financial MNEs were about USD 107 billion at the end of 2009 (table 1).

Their foreign sales were USD 198 billion and they had more than 200,000 employees abroad. Together, the 20 firms had some 800 foreign affiliates in 87 countries. The top 20 list includes state-controlled firms as well as private ones, although private firms under the control of Russian oligarchs dominate (see box 1). Resource-based MNEs form a clear majority, although there are a number of firms in services too. It is perhaps worth noting that, although the firms at the top of the list (LUKOIL and Gazprom) are much larger in asset size than most of the others, the list is nothing like as lopsided as the lists in some of the other country reports published by the VCC. Only five of the 20 firms have less than USD 1 billion in foreign assets.

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