Category Archives: Views

RenCap gains quicker access to Micex-RTS with GATElab module

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital has obtained much faster access to the Micex-RTS stock exchange this month by launching a software module developed by electronic trading solutions provider GATElab. By using GATE’s high frequency software trading module, a RenCap client would take a maximum of 130 microseconds to gain one way nic-to-nic access to Micex-RTS,… Continue Reading

RenCap says ruble’s decline no reason for anxiety

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital argues that this month’s 7.2% decline of the Russian ruble versus the dollar is not much to worry about. Various currencies have been going down against the dollar, and the ruble has been doing better than, for example, the Polish zloty, the Hungarian forint or the Czech koruna, which have… Continue Reading

AGC makes biggest-ever Middle East investment in Russia

By Andrei Skvarsky. AGC Equity Partners has acquired $175m interest in a major Russian generating company in what is seen as the largest-ever Middle East investment in Russia. The London-headquartered firm with a team in the Middle East is part of an international consortium that has bought a 26.43% blocking stake in Italian-controlled Enel OGK-5… Continue Reading

WERMUTH COMMENT: Putin’s challenge: falling oil prices

By Dieter Wermuth, Chief Economist, Wermuth Asset Management. As Putin has assumed office once again, dark clouds in the form of plunging oil prices and a recession in Western Europe are hanging over him. His third term as president is unlikely to benefit from a benign external environment. Investors are reminded that Russia has a… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: Apple, China and the Growth Markets

By Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. This past week, I spent 3 days in the US, in New York and Chicago. The main purpose of my NY visit was to host our 2nd GSAM Growth Markets Summit, which was quite an event, with many interesting speakers, panels and a great list of clients.… Continue Reading

Will Putin 2.0 mean a return to the prosperity of the 2000s?

By Ian Pryde, founder and CEO of Eurasia Strategy & Communications in Moscow. Vladimir Putin is unlikely to deliver full-blown reform, the only way to dampen the impact of the predicted drop in oil prices on an economy heavily dependent on oil exports, Ian Pryde argues in his article, first published on the Russia Beyond… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: A Twist with Messrs Posen and Shirakawa

 By Jim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. This week, I was severely tempted to pursue the analogy of comparing 2012 with 2011 and 2010, especially as it relates to most peoples persistent belief that we live in a US-dominated world.  But these two gentlemen stopped me. Thanks to Adam and Masaaki . Mind you, if… Continue Reading

Investors should avoid Russia’s oil and gas sector – Wermuth

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s oil and gas sector would be the wrong choice for an investor these days, according to Dieter Wermuth, chief economist at Wermuth Asset Management, a Russia-focused German fund manager. With global economic growth slowing down significantly, a world oil price that has quintupled since 2003 makes no sense economically and mainly… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN COMMENT: Europe Needs Growth, not More Austerity

Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Late Friday, the S&P finally followed through with their early December 2011 threat and downgraded a number of European countries’ credit rating, including Austria and France, who lost their AAA status. This threat had been hanging  over the markets ever since the last EU Summit and, at least… Continue Reading

Houlihan Lokey is expanding its M&A team

Steven Tishman has joined Houlihan Lokey as Global Head of M&A. Previously Steven was co-head of U.S. M&A at Rothschild. Houlihan Lokey, one of the largest global private investment banks is currently taking steps to actively expand its services in Eastern Europe and the CIS. It currently covers these regions from European offices and have already completed several high-profile mandates in Russia, Kazakhstan and Eastern… Continue Reading

Some BRICs Built But More Still Needed

Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 30 is the tenth anniversary of when I first mentioned the BRIC acronym when I published GS Global Economics Paper No: 66, “Building Better Global Economic BRICs.” As I am sure a number of readers now know, I am publishing a book to celebrate the… Continue Reading

COMMENT: Medvedev raises spectre of new cold war as popularity fades

By Eugene Kasevin. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has kicked off his own little Cold War just in time for the upcoming parliamentary elections. The move will be widely perceived as rhetorical shot across the bows of the US administration which is planning to build a missile-defense system in Europe. It also serves a rallying cry… Continue Reading

RENCAP COMMENT: Time for a Bolder Central Bank of Russia

By Ivan Tcharkarov,  Chief Economist for Russia and the CIS at Renaissance Capital. The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) needs to cut rates to support economic growth. We have been very complimentary about the CBR’s newly adopted policy stance to allow more exchange rate flexibility, in an attempt to help cushion the economy from external shocks… Continue Reading

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

WEAFER COMMENT: Investment Dichotomy

By Chris Weager, Chief Strategist at Troika Dialog. “Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life” Pablo Picasso A right mess. The dominant issues affecting all global markets this week will again be the ongoing efforts to contain the euro zone debt crisis and news that the US Congress has failed to agree measures to… 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

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

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

KRAUS COMMENT: The Twilight of the West

By Eric Kraus, author of the Truth and Beauty (and Russian Finance). The good news is that we have a ringside seat for the decline of the West… the bad news – we are inside the ring! The miserable thing about being a seer is that when you get it right – no one remembers… Continue Reading

UKRAINE COMMENT: Muted response by markets to Tymoshenko sentence

Arthur McCallum  Arthur McCallum, Head of Strategy at Eavex Capital. The October 11 sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in jail and a fine of UAH 1.5bn (USD 188mn) for abuse of power has caused quite a stir internationally. We maintain our view that the escalation of the Tymoshenko situation is a reflection of… Continue Reading

KRAUS COMMENT: The Eternal Russia – The Eternal Return

By Eric Kraus, author of Truth and Beauty (and Russian Finance). The major story is, of course, the return of Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency – an outcome which we always thought likely given that Medvedev seemed a deeply counterintuitive choice for the Russian presidency. Totally lacking in charisma and with no experience of… Continue Reading

Who is Russia's finance minister Anton Siluanov ?

 By Andrei Skvarksy. Anton Siluanov was a low-profile career civil servant before being named last week as Russian interim finance minister to replace Alexei Kudrin, to whom he had been a deputy for several years. Although Siluanov is not expected to continue beyond the lifetime of this government, there is an expectation as he tries… Continue Reading

Kudrin depature to rupture Russian investment case

By Ivan Anderzhanov and Eugene Kasevin. Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin‘s statement that he is unwilling to work in a future Russian government after the presidential elections will dent investor confidence in the country’s fiscal discipline. Kudrin yesterday ruled himself out of working in the next government, if President Dmitry Medvedev becomes premier, following Vladimir… Continue Reading

WEAFER COMMENT: Moscow, twinned with Cushing

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at Troika Dialog. On the face of it, there is little in common between the Russian capital, population 11.5 mln, and Cushing, Oklahoma, population 8,400. But they do have one important factor in common; Cushing is where the price of WTI is fixed, and over the past six months, the… Continue Reading

The Brits are fast fading in Russia as PM Cameron arrives

By Andrei Skvarsky. British banks HSBC and Barclays, along with oil major BP, are fading from Russia just as UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrives in Moscow on Monday to try to reverse a nadir in British-Russian relations. HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, has shut its modest Russian retail network after committing $200m for building it… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN COMMENT: Swissy never lies

By Jim O’Neil, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In the context of the ongoing challenges in the US, the Euro Area and elsewhere, this week I have chosen to focus on the Swiss Franc currency. Throughout the market mayhem of August, and its subsequent carry over into the start of September, the Swiss Franc… Continue Reading

WEAFER COMMENT: New month – new hope

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at Troika Dialog. Equity markets look set to extend recent gains after another positive session in the US and broadly based gains across Asia this morning. However, after such a strong run into the end of August, investors will likely adopt a more cautious approach until the important economic indicators,… Continue Reading