A Closer Look at the BRIC Countries: Russia

by Neil Hershberg, Senior Vice President, Global Media, Business Wire New York

According to conventional wisdom, the so-called “BRIC” countries [Brazil-Russia-India-China] will be the drivers of the 21st century global economy.

Business Wire is uniquely positioned, by virtue of its exclusive strategic relationships, to reach traditional and online media, investors, business decision-makers, and consumers in these dynamic markets.

In the first article of our four-part series, we profiled Agencia Estado, the most influential financial information provider in Brazil. This month, the spotlight shifts to Russia and our partner Interfax, which is the premier business and economic news service in Russia and neighboring markets.

Russia, 11th largest economy in the world, boasts the eighth largest purchasing power. Traditionally noted for its well-educated workforce, Russia has long been a power in natural gas, oil, coal and metals.

Business Wire has been a partner of Moscow-based Interfax since 2001. Interfax has spawned dozens of specialized news agencies under its umbrella organization, The Interfax Information Services Group. It is a leading content contributor to the world’s leading financial information platforms and databases, including Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, FT Information Ltd, Factiva and Lexis Nexis. The international investment community clearly recognizes Interfax as the most authoritative and credible source of Russian financial news. In fact, a February 2008 study confirmed that Interfax is the Russian news agency most frequently cited by both Russian and foreign media.

Collectively, Interfax’s national, regional and industry news agencies produce some 5,000 items every day in Russian, English, German, Ukranian, Belarussian, Kazakh and Azeri.

In addition to the desktop terminals of the major global financial news services, Interfax news is available on the terminals of the Russian Trading System, Russia’s electronic stock exchange, as well as its own market data [EFIR] terminals, targeting small-to-medium sized private investors.

Interfax also serves as an official regulatory disclosure service in Russia, in a partnership project with the MICEX Stock Exchange.

In recent years, Interfax has expanded beyond its news wire roots and developed a range of information products that appeal to a broader audience. These include the SPARK-Emitent database of publicly traded Russian companies, which generated more than 4.3 million information requests in 2008.

Another impressive database innovation was the introduction of SCAN (System of Comprehensive News Analysis), which is a centralized archive of editorial content gathered from multiple Russian media organizations. SCAN is an invaluable analytic tool for pinpointing data and market intelligence from diverse sources.

In addition to its longstanding relationship with Business Wire, Interfax has entered into high-profile alliances with other information industry leaders. Interfax’s strategic partnerships include Moody’s, Esperian, D&B (Dun & Bradstreet), and Lexis Nexis, among others.

In a little more than two decades, Interfax has unequivocally established itself as Russia’s business and financial news leader, easily distancing itself from all would-be competitors.

Interfax’s importance on the global financial information stage is certain to grow in the coming decades as Russia plays a more prominent role in the 21st Century economy.

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