Category Archives: News

Sberbank says anti-hacking operation saves client money

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank has said its security operatives have helped to prevent the theft of “tens of millions of rubles” from clients of Russia’s biggest lender by foiling a hacking scheme. {{{?}}} An operation by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the Sberbank security department and Russian computer security company Kaspersky Lab resulted in the… Continue Reading

Deutsche Börse analysts: business optimism in Russia rises

By Andrei Skvarsky. A survey by a Deutsche Börse research subsidiary has shown growing optimism among Russian companies for the second consecutive month in February, but the think tank largely attributes this to the Sochi Olympics and warns the upturn may not last. {{{?}}} MNI Indicators, which is owned by the German stock exchange, said… Continue Reading

Credit Bank of Moscow gets top accolade for asset quality control

By Andrei Skvarsky. Credit Bank of Moscow (CBM), one of Russia’s leading universal privately owned lenders, has won the top award for asset quality control in a competition arranged by Russian rating agency Expert RA and based on a survey of more than 700 companies and banks. {{{?}}} CBM, which received the accolade at the… Continue Reading

Oracle Capital launches advisory service on investment in art

By Andrei Skvarsky. Oracle Capital, a global multi-family office and wealth consultancy, has launched an advisory service on the purchase and maintenance of fine art collections. {{{?}}} A panel of experts would advise on specific paintings and art periods and movements, and address key valuation issues such as trends, authenticity and emerging art markets, the… Continue Reading

Sberbank book of maps takes “fresh look” at Russian economy

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank is bringing out a book of maps in which Russia’s biggest lender takes “a fresh look at each of the major market sectors in Russia”. {{{?}}} “Russia Book of Maps 2014 – The Heart of Eurasia” is a collection of maps going region by region and containing macroeconomic information and data… Continue Reading

EBRD co-arranges forum to discuss Armenia capital markets

By Andrei Skvarsky. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and NASDAQ OMX were co-organisers of an international conference last week that pondered ways of building more vibrant capital markets in Armenia. {{{?}}} The event, held in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia, brought together more than 100 delegates who represented commercial and central banks, potential issuers of… Continue Reading

Russia’s RenCap hosts 5th pan-Africa investor conference

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s Renaissance Capital has opened its fifth annual pan-Africa investor conference in Lagos. {{{?}}} This year’s conference brings together about 400 guests, including 200 investors representing global and frontier funds. The delegates also include senior managers from some of Africa’s largest companies and senior government figures, among them Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi… Continue Reading

Coutts: luxuries up 77% in value since 2005, outdoing shares

By Andrei Skvarsky. Royal Bank of Scotland-owned lender Coutts argues that a vintage car, posh apartment or sumptuous watch that you would have bought in 2005 might bring you twice as much as you paid for it, or even more, if you sold it today. {{{?}}} Classic cars have rocketed 257%, classic watches 176% and… Continue Reading

Turkey’s Akbank says got through tough year with flying colours

By Andrei Skvarsky. Akbank, one of the biggest Turkish lenders, has reported robust performance for 2013 with its total assets growing 20% despite capital outflows from emerging markets and abysmally low interest rates in many countries, including Turkey. {{{?}}} The total assets of the Istanbul-based firm, which The Banker, Euromoney, World Finance, and Global Banking… Continue Reading

Sberbank chiefs talk to analysts

By Andrei Skvarsky. Top executives of Sberbank have spoken to more than 25 researchers from various investment banks at an annual meeting between the management of Russia’s largest lender and banking analysts. {{{?}}} Deputy chief executive Alexander Morozov briefed the audience on key projections for Sberbank’s performance this year. “The main priority of Sberbank is… Continue Reading

RenCap hires Merrill banker for senior Europe sales job

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian brokerage Renaissance Capital has hired Amr Aboushaban from Bank of America Merrill Lynch as vice-president in its equities sales team. {{{?}}} Aboushaban’s main responsibility will be client coverage in London and across Europe, but his duties will include helping to build out coverage in the Middle East and North Africa, RenCap… Continue Reading

Abraaj chief concurs with thesis that BRIC obsolete term

By Andrei Skvarsky. Facts that the chief executive of Dubai-based investment firm Abraaj cites in a recent article corroborate the thesis of British bank Coutts that BRIC is an obsolete concept. {{{?}}} Both Abraaj CEO Arif Naqfi and Coutts analysts argue that the economic performance of Brazil, Russia, India and China has ceased to make… Continue Reading

Tajikistan central bank debuts in Moscow Exchange forex market

By Andrei Skvarsky. Tajikistan’s central bank has begun to trade in Moscow Exchange’s forex market, clinching its first deal on January 20. {{{?}}} The National Bank is not Tajikistan’s first bank to gain access to Moscow Exchange’s forex trade. Early last month the Eskhata commercial lender was let into the market. The National Bank of… Continue Reading

Russia may switch clocks back for winter

By Andrei Skvarsky. A draft law has been introduced to Russia’s parliament to restore the practice of moving the clocks one hour forward in the spring and one hour back in the autumn, Russian media said on Monday. {{{?}}} The proposed law is bound to be hailed by stock exchange traders in the West who… Continue Reading

VTB makes clean break with Fitch over "lack of professionalism”

By Andrei Skvarsky. VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest bank, announced on Tuesday that it was severing all its relations with Fitch Ratings because of the rating agency’s “continued lack of professionalism”. {{{?}}} The move followed Fitch’s lowering VTB’s issuer-default rating one level on January 10, which the bank argued was groundless, claiming the agency had had… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange reports 24% trade volume increase for 2013

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow Exchange has said its trading volumes grew 24% last year, reaching 46.6 trillion rubles ($1.4 trillion). {{{?}}} All of the exchange’s units – its trading floors for stocks, Russian depositary receipts (RDRs), corporate and government bonds and derivatives, and its forex and money markets – recorded volume increases, the bourse, which… Continue Reading

US Revere Capital Advisors sets up merchant banking group, makes hires

By Andrei Skvarsky. Revere Capital Advisors, a New York- and London-based financial services boutique, has set up a merchant banking group, Revere Merchant Capital (RMC), and made three senior hires for the new firm. {{{?}}} “RMC will lead and co-invest in equity and debt financings in connection with change of control, acquisition and expansion capital… Continue Reading

Moscow forum discusses high-tech investment

By Andrei Skvarsky. RVC, a Russian state-owned high-tech investment company, has helped organise an international forum last week that looked at ways of giving an impetus to Russia’s technology industries. {{{?}}} The role of corporate venture funds, high-tech investment vehicles set up by large corporations, was among issues raised at Moscow’s First Corporate Venture Summit,… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Tinkoff shares plummet 40%

By Andrei Skvarsky. Tinkoff Credit Systems stock plummeted 40% to $9 per share on Friday on news that Russia’s government is planning a law to restrict distant distribution of credit cards by banks. {{{?}}} It would then only be possible to obtain a card from a bank office. “This is only one of many initiatives… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange to change collateral requirement for derivatives market

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow Exchange plans a reform in its derivatives market in which the entire collateral would have to be in U.S. dollars instead of today’s requirement of 50% in dollars and 50% in Russian rubles. {{{?}}} “The change will simplify operations for foreign market participants and lower funding costs for Russian market participants,”… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange chosen as IPO floor by major footwear retailer

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow Exchange is soon going to host one more IPO, with major Russian footwear retailer Obuv Rossii planning to put one quarter of its stock on sale and expecting to raise between 1.5bn and 2bn rubles ($46m-$62m) thereby. {{{?}}} The planned sale would be run by a consortium led by Russian broker… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange chosen by NASDAQ-listed Qiwi as SPO co-host

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow Exchange has a new feather in its cap now that Qiwi, a top-notch provider of electronic payment services in Russia and the CIS, opted for the bourse as one of the floors, along with NASDAQ, for trading its American depositary shares (ADSs) after a successful IPO in the United States. {{{?}}} Co-managed… Continue Reading

Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley to co-manage Alrosa IPO

Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Russia’s VTB Capital and Renaissance Capital will co-manage a planned IPO announced by Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s main diamond producer, on Wednesday. Alrosa will offer a 16% stake for sale on Moscow Exchange, the state-controlled company, which produces 94% of Russia’s diamonds, said in a statement. Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Accuity launches bespoke PEP screening software for Russian market

By Andrei Skvarsky. Business data provider Accuity, part of Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier, is launching a unique risk assessment tool tailored for the Russian banking sector – a database to enable banks to screen potential customers from among politically exposed persons (PEPs) more efficiently than its predecessors. {{{?}}} The database, whose main purpose is to… Continue Reading

Citi, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley to offer DMA to Moscow Exchange

By Andrei Skvarsky. Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are going to begin to offer their clients direct market access (DMA) to trade in Russian securities on Moscow Exchange this month. Two other major global banks are expected to follow suit later this year, Russia’s largest trading platform for equities, bonds, derivatives and currencies said… Continue Reading

EBRD invests in Russian IT outsourcing provider MAYKOR

The EBRD has joined forces with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the CapMan Russia II Fund, a private equity fund in which the Bank is an investor, to support MAYKOR, the leading Russian IT outsourcing and service provider.  The three partners will invest up to USD 100 million in a series of stages… Continue Reading

New Appointments for Otkritie Bank’s Management

Otkritie Bank has appointed Chairman of the Managing Board, following the approval by the Bank’s Board of Directors and the Bank of Russia. In his new capacity, Evgeny Dankevich will be in charge of the Bank’s strategic development and general management. Evgeny will resign as Otkritie Bank’s President and Board of Directors Chairman, while remaining on Otkritie… Continue Reading