Over the past 20 years, Russia has undergone a series of dramatic political, social and economic transformations. Many of the changes are still ongoing as the country sheds the legacy of its former economic structure and evolves as a capitalist economy. One of the pivotal drivers of successful transformation has been the emergence of private enterprise in Russia and across the post-socialist landscape in general. Focusing on the performance of Russia's corporate sector, this chapter contributes to the larger literature on the evolution of post-transition era business and market institutions. Tackling the Soviet-era legacy early in the 1990s, the privatization of state enterprises was attempted in three stages: 'mass privatization' (1992-94), select privatization through investment tenders (1994), and 'loans-for-shares' privatization (1995). A possible fourth stage is between mid-2005 and the present as the state has continued to spin off more assets for sale (for example, the recent announcement of the privatization of Rostelecom; Ria Novosti, 2012). Despite ongoing privatization, the state share of the economy remains significant and is concentrated in the mining, heavy industry, transportation, defence, and research sectors. In fact, some of the companies discussed in this chapter have partial or majority state ownership. Elsewhere they are described as state corporations (for example, Gevorkyan, 2011). This chapter will not differentiate companies based on their ownership and will separate firms based on the sectors in which their main business is conducted.
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