Category Archives: News

GUEST COMMENT: On the road to Donetsk?

By Tyler Hawkins Sunshine, PhD World War III is certainly not looming and any fallout from recent events in the Ukraine will only have a short-lived effect on capital markets in Russia, let alone the rest of the world. {{{?}}} Russian equity indices and credit default swaps are trading at the lower end of the… Continue Reading

Russia expects its own chip for bank cards as early as 2015

{{{?}}} Pursuing the goal of setting up its own payment operation and clearing centers to circumvent US-based Visa and MasterCard, Russia may have its own homemade chip for banking cards as early as next year. According to East-West Digital News, the first all English-language online resource dedicated to Russian digital industries, citing the Russian business daily… Continue Reading

Sberbank CIB opens second RUB 6.8 bln line of credit for INTECO Group

{{{?}}} Sberbank CIB1 has signed an agreement with INTECO Group on the financing of construction of the 146,000 sq. m “Liner – Zapad” Multifunctional Complex in the Khodynskoe Polye neighbourhood. This line of credit totals RUB 6.8 bln. The agreement was signed for a period of 4.5 years. On behalf of Sberbank CIB this deal was structured… Continue Reading

Microsoft supports Moscow University-based computer vision and big data research

{{{?}}} Microsoft and Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia’s most renowned institution of higher learning, shook hands earlier this month on a joint $1m research project, East-West Digital News, the first all English-language online resource dedicated to Russian digital industries, reported last week, citing a press release from the US company. The three-year agreement calls for close collaboration… Continue Reading

EBRD channels $40 million to support Ukrainian grain farmers

{{{?}}} The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is once again demonstrating its commitment to Ukraine’s agribusiness sector, which received over €160 million from the Bank in 2013 alone. The EBRD is providing a loan of up to US$ 40 million to over 30 farms and elevators across Ukraine owned by NCH New Europe… Continue Reading

Renaissance Capital makes net profit of $14m for FY13

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital, one of Russia’s leading privately-owned investment banks, has reported a net profit of $14.09m for fiscal year 2013 after losses it had been sustaining before its takeover by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim group a year ago. {{{?}}} RenCap lost $378.24m for fiscal year 2012, the Moscow-based bank said in a… Continue Reading

Post-Crimea capital outflow huge threat to Russian growth – minister

By Andrei Skvarsky. With a boost given by the international political aftermath of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, capital outflow threatens to drastically slow Russia’s economic growth, with recession not unlikely, the economics minister has warned. {{{?}}} An estimated $60bn has been taken out of Russia since the start of 2014, about as much as for… Continue Reading

IronFX brokerage: dollar likely to bounce soon after decline

By Andrei Skvarsky. Online broker IronFX Global says the US dollar’s slide on March 13 is likely to be short-lived because of the escalating Ukrainian crisis. {{{?}}} The dollar’s downturn against all the G10 currencies and 15 principal emerging market currencies is the effect of a risk-on sentiment that took shape the day before, according… Continue Reading

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