Alfa

Russian Alfa Bank, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, announced on Monday that its Belarusian subsidiary, Alfa Bank (Belarus), will acquire Belrosbank from Russian Rosbank, controlled by Société Générale. The move followed by failed negotiations with the Belarusian authorities to buy state-owned Belinvestbank.

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2012, Alfa Bank said in a statement, but the bank did not disclose the price of the deal. 

Mikhail Fridman, chief executive TNK-BPThe influence of Russia in Belarus’ banking sector is easily spotted. All of Russia’s major banks have subsidiaries in the country and provide them with support.

Russian finance could be set to increase further: Alfa Bank, controlled by billionaire Mikhail Fridman (pictured), is discussing the possible acquisition of another Belarusian lender. But the target, although rumoured, is still unconfirmed. 

Karamehmet

Is the tide turning in the tussle over Turkcell?

For years, Turkey’s biggest mobile group has been the focus of an almighty struggle between, on one side, Mehmet Karamehmet, one of the country’s richest men, and his Cukurova group and, on the other, Alfa group of Russia, and TeliaSonera, the Nordic telco.

There have been multiple fronts in the battle over control and compensation, and last year for a while there seemed to be a fairly steady flow of good news for Alfa (via it’s telecom arm, Altimo) and TeliaSonera. But the battle is far from over. 

A Russian couple dancesHere we go again: yet another conflict has broken out between Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group and a foreign partner. This time it’s Alfa subsidiary A1 versus US venture capital firm Indigo Partners – and the battle is over Russian airline Avianova.

On the surface, the story seems to have all the trappings of every Alfa conflict of yore. (Think BP vs Alfa-Access-Renova, or Telenor versus Alfa-subsidiary Altimo.) But what do these stories actually say about the Russian investment climate?