Category Archives: News

Ozon acquires stake in LitRes, the leading Russian e-book store

Source – East-West Digital News Ozon Holdings, one of Russia’s most established e-commerce players, announced that it acquired a stake in LitRes, the leader in Russia’s fast growing – though still embryonic – domestic e-book market. Neither the size of the stake nor the amount of the transaction has been disclosed. Continue Reading

Sanctioned Bank Rossiya parts with $362m as clients withdraw forex

By Andrei Skvarsky. Client accounts at Bank Rossiya have plunged by a total of 12.6bn rubles ($362m) since the end of March as customers have been withdrawing foreign currency from the St Petersburg-based lender after the United States imposed sanctions on it. {{{?}}} Bank Rossiya limited its business to ruble transactions after the U.S. government… Continue Reading

Russia-Ukraine crisis threatens recovery in the EBRD region

The crisis in Russia and Ukraine is having a severe impact on the economies of the two countries and is threatening to slow down the recovery in the wider EBRD region – or even bring it to a complete halt. {{{?}}} The EBRD’s latest economic report predicts growth in the transition region of just 1.4 per cent in 2014,… Continue Reading

Investors in Crimea to receive “considerable” Russian government support

Investors willing to inject money into the Crimea will receive “considerable support” from the Russian government, Oleg Savelyev, the Russian minister responsible for the region, promised earlier this month. {{{?}}} As Rusbase reported, in addition to Russian and Ukrainian investors, Minister Savelyev hopes investors from China, India, Korea and the entire Southeast Asia will also line… Continue Reading

Ukraine and EBRD launch initiative to combat corruption

The government of Ukraine has pledged to do more to combat corruption with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), multilateral organisations as well as domestic and foreign business associations. {{{?}}} The Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Initiative aims to improve the investment climate and to strengthen the economic outlook by ensuring greater accountability and transparency… Continue Reading

EBRD appoints Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has appointed, Francis Malige to the new position of Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. {{{?}}} Mr Malige assumed his role 1 May. He is responsible for leading the Bank’s operations in Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Initially based in London, he will be relocating to Kiev later in the… Continue Reading

EBRD steps up lending to Ukraine as part of international support package

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is significantly increasing its public sector lending in Ukraine as it joins in the response of the international community to support the Ukrainian economy. {{{?}}} In a project financed together with the European Investment Bank, the EBRD is providing a €200 million loan to finance the modernisation… Continue Reading

Execute a flawless career change

{{{?}}} Landing a new job is challenging enough. If you’re also trying to break into executive management, switch industries or functions, or reenter the workforce after a prolonged hiatus – success depends on a comprehensive job search strategy. To help you devise and execute your strategy, Ivy Exec is providing Emerging Markets Investment Professionals Network… Continue Reading

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