Present and past owners of OAO Bank Rossiya, the only company hit with sanctions for Russia’s takeover of Crimea, include three billionaires, two proteges of a Nobel Laureate and, according to a Spanish prosecutor, one possible mob boss.
Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman is getting some help from European Central Bank Chairman Mario Draghi in his efforts to salvage VimpelCom Ltd.’s investment in Italian mobile-phone service Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA.
The ruble weakened the most in a month and stocks retreated after Russia said it planned to buy foreign currency and U.S. lawmakers passed a bill for more sanctions. Bonds dropped as the government sold fewer bonds than offered at its first auction in five weeks.
Russian consumer spending accelerated more than economists estimated last month as wages surged and joblessness unexpectedly remained unchanged, tempering concerns that the economy is tipping into crisis.
Russian government officials and businessmen are bracing for sanctions resembling those applied to Iran after what they see as the inevitable annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, according to four people with knowledge of the preparations.