Category Archives: News

VTB to heavily benefit from Sechin’s privatisation initiative

 By Andrei Skvarsky. State-owned bank VTB would benefit seriously during its planned partial privatisation from a share pricing measure proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, Renaissance Capital analysts argue. Sechin last week proposed an amendment to the 2011-2013 privatisation programme to ensure that the starting price of a state company in any privatisation deal should not be lower… Continue Reading

Sberbank becomes Europe's 3rd biggest lender

Russia’s state lender Sberbank has become the third largest bank in Europe in terms of  market capitalization. With a market cap of almost $60bn from November 14, the 170-year-old behemoth outranks France’s BNP Paribas, Switzerland’s UBS, Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Britain’s Barklays and Royal Bank of Scotland. Sberbank’s strategic goal by 2014 is to enter the… Continue Reading

VTB Capital plots IPO route through new Hong Kong office

VTB Capital, the Russian state-controlled investment bank, is hoping to arrange “three or four” IPOs through its new Hong Office next year. The bank’s deputy chairman  Yuri Soloviev said the listings would be in the energy and metals and mining sectors, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal. The Hong Kong team will be boosted… Continue Reading

Wermuth loses second senior manager since summer

By Andrei Skvarsky. Wermuth Asset Management, a German fund manager chiefly operating from Moscow, has parted company with its chief executive Maarten van den Belt, three months after another top figure in the relatively small company quit the firm. Van den Belt, whom Wermuth hired as its CEO in July 2010, has been replaced by Michael… Continue Reading

RusRating founder and CEO Richard Hainsworth steps aside

By Andrei Skvarsky.   Russian rating agency RusRating has put aside its founder and chief executive Richard Hainsworth by appointing him as company president and passing over his top managerial duties to Dmitri Yefimov from Russian business news agency AK&M.   The appointment of Yefimov, who takes up the job today, “was motivated by the… Continue Reading

Sberbank to axe 30,000 jobs

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, plans to sack 30,000 employees or 12.5% of its personnel, thereby following other banks in Russia and worldwide in cutting jobs as the euro debt crisis deepens. Sberbank chief executive German Gref told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that the reason why the firm would slash its numbers to… Continue Reading

Deutsche Bank snaps up remainder of UFG Capital Management

By Ivan Anderzhanov. Germany’s Deutsche Bank will take over the remaining 60% in the Russia’s UFG Capital Management it doesn’t own in an effort to boost its presence in the country’s nascent asset management sphere. The financial details of the transaction weren’t disclosed.  Deutsche UFG Capital Management has 370 million euro of assets under management. Detusche bought the… Continue Reading

Troika hires Standard Bank’s Leith as heir apparent

By Andrei Skvarsky.   Troika Dialog has hired Rob Leith from South Africa’s Standard Bank, which  used to own a big slice of the Russian brokerage, as global head of investment banking and head of global markets.   Leith is taking up what is a newly created role with responsibility for both business areas. He will partially… Continue Reading

EBRD, World Bank try to cut emissions from gas flaring in Russia

By Marcus Williams. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is joining forces with the World Bank  to help governments in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan reduce the waste of a valuable energy source and also combat damage to the environment. In a joint statement, the two international financial institutions said there are currently… Continue Reading

Micex halts trading again for mysterious reason

By Andrei Skvarsky. Trading on the Micex screeched to a halt today for a third time in about three months for mysterious reasons as the exchange merges  with Moscow rival, RTS. Micex, which resumed trade at 11am, said in a statement the reason for today’s suspension were “incorrect records of participants’ remaining funds in the… Continue Reading

INTERVIEW: Raiffeisen staying the course in Russia

By Andrei Skvarsky. Raiffeisen has no plans to follow its European counterparts by retreating from or retrenching in Russia, the Austrian lender’s top spokesman, Michael Palzer, tells AS: Russia’s Sberbank is said to be eyeing the Russian assets of crisis-hit European banks, hoping to buy them cheaply. Has it offered to buy your Russian subsidiary?… Continue Reading

WEAFER COMMENT: Big Boost for EM and for Russia

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at Troika Dialog.  The weekly equity funds flow report from EPFR Global showed a big jump in new investment into emerging market funds for the week ended Wednesday. A total of $3.5 bln was invested into all EM funds compared to $1.0 bln the week before. Russia dedicated funds reported… Continue Reading

BG Capital shutters its Ukraine office 

By Ivan Anderzhnov BG Capital, the investment banking arm of Bank of Georgia, is closing down its Ukrainian office to focus on  its domestic market where it has much more positive prospects for growth, according to Kyivpost. “As of today, the Kiev office is officially closed,” said Nick Piazza, CEO of BG Capital, in a letter to clients on… Continue Reading

COMMENT: Russia and the WTO

By Daniel Salter, Head of EMEA Equity Strategy at UniCredit Securities. Russia is by far the largest global economy outside the WTO. Entry negotiations have been going on for eighteen years, since Russia applied to join the WTO’s predecessor, GATT, in 1993. However, after numerous false starts, progress appears to have accelerated recently – we… Continue Reading

VTB inhales one of Europe’s main cigarette makers

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s VTB Capital has completed the acquisition of Bulgartabac, one of Europe’s leading cigarette manufacturers. The investment banking arm of state-owned VTB Group, Russia’s second biggest lender, said in a statement it had paid 100.1m euros ($136.8m) for its 79.83% stake in the Sofia-based company. The terms of the deal include commitments… Continue Reading

Ernst & Young hires Deutsche Boerse’s Steinbach to run IPOs

By Andrei Skvarsky. Ernst & Young has hired Martin Steinbach, a former senior figure at Deutsche Boerse, to run its initial public offerings and listings centre for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. Steinbach spent nearly a decade as head of issuer and investor markets at Deutsche Boerse, the stock exchange based in Frankfurt-am-Main,… Continue Reading

Canadians mull visa ban for Magnitsky officials

By Andrei Skvarsky. Canada is considering joining the United States in denying entry visas to Russian officials blamed for the death in jail of Hermitage Capital fund lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. “The ongoing impunity, and indeed, in this instance shocking impunity regarding Russian officials is as scandalous as it is shocking,” Irwin Cotler, a member of… Continue Reading

VTB includes regional chief in top brass

By Andrei Skvarsky. VTB Group has given an additional role to Denis Bortnikov, head of the state-owned bank’s division for northwesternRussia, by appointing him as a member of the group’s top executive panel. Bortnikov, whose appointment is subject to Central Bank approval, started his career in 1996 at Industry and Construction Bank, which was later… Continue Reading

Alfa Bank promotes Petr Smida to board chairman

By Andrei Skvarsky. Alfa Bank has promoted Petr Smida, one of its top executives, to the role of  board chairman, a job he already held at the firm for several months in 2008. Smida, who held US- and Czech-based positions at banking arms of General Electric before joining Alfa, was the Russian bank’s chief executive for a while. The… Continue Reading

Barclays offloads Russian retail to focus on investment banking

By Andrei Skvarsky. Barclays Bank’s Russian unit will focus on investment banking after offloading its retail and commercial banking operations in Russia under a deal it has just signed with investors including banker Igor Kim. The deal follows a February 15 announcement by the British institution that it would close its retail and commercial banking business in Russia. Barclays is one… Continue Reading

Allianz’s Russian fund manager parts company with CEO

By Andrei Skvarsky. Allianz’s fund management joint venture in Moscow has parted company with its CEO Oleg Mazurov. Allianz ROSNO Asset Management runs eight mutual funds. The assets entrusted to the Munich-based global insurer’s Russian venture have swelled to 25.29bn rubles ($830m) since Mazurov became its CEO five years ago, according to a statement by… Continue Reading

Micex-RTS merger wins 'deal of the year' prize

By Andrei Skvarsky. Micex and RTS, Russia’s two key stock exchanges, have won a prize from a Russian business magazine for their current merger, a $1bn deal to be closed on December 19. The Kompaniya weekly declared the two exchanges winners of the company of the year prize in the deal of the year category, according to statements from… Continue Reading

Troika Dialog hires Deutsche’s Gordeyeva as senior analyst

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian brokerage Troika Dialog has hired Julia Gordeyeva from Deutsche Bank  as a senior real estate analyst. Before joining Deutsche as a senior analyst, Gordeyeva held a similar Moscow-based role at Dutch bank ING, and earlier on worked in the United States for JP Morgan Fleming Investment Management. Gordeyeva takes up her job today,… Continue Reading

Troika Dialog hires Citi’s Walker in preparing for Sberbank era

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian broker Troika Dialog has hired David Walker from Citigroup as a managing director in its investment banking division. Walker’s appointment is the latest in a recent series of senior recruitments made by Troika, which has been acquired by Sberbank in the latter’s efforts to move into investment banking. Walker, who took… Continue Reading

UniCredit sets out fund distribution alliance with BNP Paribas

By Andrei Skvarsky. UniCredit’s lending arm in Russia will be selling, exchanging and redeeming shares in 18 mutual funds managed by French-Russian venture TKB BNP Paribas Investment Partners under a new distribution agreement. The deal between the Italian lender and TKB BNP Paribas, which is co-owned by France’s BNP Paribas and Russian railways monopoly RZD,… Continue Reading

Societe Generale’s Rosbank hit by 146.6m-euro fraud

By Andrei Skvarsky. Societe Generale lost 146.6m euros through fraud at Rosbank, the French bank’s Russian subsidiary, in 2007. The fraud was committed at the subsidiary’s Swiss branch, Rosbank Switzerland, and has resulted in the latter’s liquidation, according to the Daily Telegraph and Financial News. The loss, described as “fraud” in Rosbank’s 2007 annual report,… Continue Reading