Russia May Emulate Canary Wharf With Finance Hub Outside Moscow

Russia may model its financial district after London’s Canary Wharf and Deutsche Boerse by basing the planned hub outside central Moscow and luring foreigners with tax incentives, government officials said.

Foreign companies may get tax breaks and office space at low rents if they move to the area selected by the government, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, told reporters outside Moscow today. The Cabinet hasn’t decided on the location.

Medvedev, who served as head of state from 2008 to 2012 after Vladimir Putin completed the maximum two consecutive terms allowed by the constitution, has courted heads of Western banks on transforming Moscow into a global financial center. Russia yesterday hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to boost its image with investors abroad.

The government needs to outline plans to offer interested companies and investors a “set of carrots” to encourage them to relocate, Alexander Voloshin, the head of the government working group overseeing the creation of a financial center, said at the meeting. Medvedev said another working group will be formed to oversee development of the hub’s infrastructure.

Putin, who’s been either prime minister or president for more than 13 years, ordered the government last year to improve Russia’s standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business rating to 20th by 2018.

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