Category Archives: Views

EBRD attracts SRI lender to Russian market for first time

By Marcus Williams. An EBRD loan for Russia’s Transcapitalbank marks the first time an institution with a specific mandate to act as a socially responsible lender is participating as a co-financier to raise funds for a Russian borrower. To date, the EBRD’s partners in such transactions have traditionally been commercial banks, according to a statement from the… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Wermuth fund manager Winsell Davies quits for Metropol role

John Winsell Davies By Ivan Anderzhnov. John Winsell Davies has quit Wermuth Asset Management and has started offering  his ”consulting services” to Metropol. Winsell Davies will work closely with Hawk Sunshine, who switched from a senior investment banking role at Metropol last year to managing director of fund management. Winsell Davies, a Russia veteran with… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN COMMENT: Looking through the fog

By Jim O’Neil, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In the past week, we have experienced remarkable turmoil in financial markets, which have brought back memories for many people of the darkest days of late 2008. Are direct parallels to 2008 valid ? Many other questions also come to mind.  Are current market valuation levels… Continue Reading

COMMENT: Cruel, cruel summer: Screening Emerging Europe

By Daniel Salter, Chief Strategist at UniCredit Securities. If this is a “normal” mid-cycle market correction, markets could soon start to find a bottom, with the S&P 18% off since its cycle high (in line with the median of fourteen 10%+ downturns for the S&P since 1975). However, if recent events (including the heated debate… Continue Reading

Kazakhstani banking: Accelerated lending coupled with jump in NPLs

By Rustam Botashev, Deputy Head of Research at UniCredit Securities. Kazakhstan’s bank supervisory committee has published 6M11 banking statistics, showing accelerating loan growth on the backdrop of deteriorating asset quality. We reiterate our Buy recommendations for Halyk Bank (12M TP of USD 14.3) and Kazkommertsbank (USD 9.6). Lending in Kazakhstan accelerated in June, with 1.3%… Continue Reading

Evrofinance Capital asks state to halt Micex-RTS merger

By Andrei Skvarsky.   Evrofinance Capital, a Micex minority shareholder, has asked for an official order to reverse the merger of Russia’s biggest stock exchange with the RTS bourse.   The merger will be damaging to Micex, its shareholders, the Russian financial markets and the country as a whole if based on the current scenario,… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Yevgeny Kogan of Moscow Partners

 By Andrei Skvarsky. Yevgeny Kogan, president of the Moscow Partners investment boutique and a former senior partner at Russian wealth management firm Third Rome, talks to about his company’s history, current business and plans. Yevgeny, what is your role in the company, which you and Igor Moryakov have founded as partners?  It may be… Continue Reading

WEAFER COMMENT: A Bellerophonic Message

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at ING in Moscow. There continues to be only one key event in global markets and that is the US debt deal. As this note goes out, there is optimism that a deal will be reached either this evening or tomorrow. That should allow for a modest relief rally in… Continue Reading

Equity fund flows: Investors remain optimistic and sidelined

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at ING in Moscow. The total volume of money invested into emerging market (EM) funds last week was relatively low, even for midsummer, as investors prudently remained on the sidelines while waiting for a resolution of the US debt talks. But, although low, the net flow remained positive as a… Continue Reading

Russia’s AMT Bank struck off

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow’s AMT Bank, until 2009 co-owned by major Kazakh lender BTA, has had its licence annulled by Russia’s Central Bank with effect from today. AMT has been failing to comply with “federal laws regulating banking activities” and presenting false accounts, the Central Bank said in a statement. UniCredit analyst Rustam Botashev said… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: Who would you want in EMU?

 By Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Western sovereign debt issues rolled on again last week, with fierce competition between the US and the Euro Area for attention. As President Obama and Congress struggle to reach a budget compromise ahead of the debt ceiling deadline, two ratingagencies made it clear that failure to make… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: A messy start to July

By Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Just when it seemed things were shifting back to the optimists’ camp, Friday’s news about the state of the world threw another spanner in the works. In addition to a very disappointing US nonfarm payrolls report, Italy came into the spotlight in the European crisis. Subsequently, the earliest of the June… Continue Reading

GUEST COMMENT: Khodorkovsky Trial Exposes Reform Progress

By James Beadle from Since 2003 former Yukos executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev have been incarcerated in Russia on charges of tax evasion. At present, as their eight year stint enters its final stages, the two are on trial once more, charged with stealing millions of tonnes of oil (reputedly the same oil… Continue Reading

Fund Flows: Sentiment is Finely (Dangerously) Balanced

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at UralSib Capital Waiting for clarity. Fund investors appear to have taken a sanguine view of global market volatility over the past week. They have remained largely on the sidelines while waiting for a clearer picture to emerge. According to the data supplied by EPFR Global, in the week ended… Continue Reading

Troika Dialog: the best investment bank in Russia ?

By Ivan Anderzhanov Troika Dialog has been awarded the gong of best investment bank in Russia in the recent Global Finance awards. In a statement, Troika said it currently leads Russian debt capital market league tables in terms of volume, number of issues and market share. Last we checked, VTB Capital may have had some… Continue Reading

COMMENT: Government mulls protectionist moves to protect industries from ruble strength

By Vladimir Osakovsky, Head of Macroeconomic Analysis and Research at Unicredit Securities Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that the Russian government might raise import tariffs and subsidize industries to keep Russian industry competitive, Bloomberg reports. He said that the ruble is likely to appreciate over the next several years and the government… Continue Reading

VTB to advertise on the BBC

By Ivan Anderzhanov In a further sign of a thawing in Anglo-Russo relations, VTB Capital is to sponsor a major series looking at Russian business to be shown on the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The series, which will begin transmitting this month, will focus on business across Russia, examining  people, companies and products. VTB… Continue Reading

COMMENT: What happens with Russian market in May & June 2010 ?

By Mark Rubinstein, Deputy Head of Research at IFC Metropol Traditionally, May and June are not the strongest months for the Russian market. In the past four years, only once, in 2008, the market was able to demonstrate growth over this period. But I think that this year will be an “exception” again, and the… Continue Reading

Investors ready to jump on the Russia sovereign Eurobond wagon

By Andrei Skvarsky Russian finance officials are meeting investors in London and Singapore today to market Russia’s first sovereign Eurobond issue since 1998, with analysts saying there is a high appetite for the issue as the risk of a Russian default on loans is at an all-time low. Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Russia’s Alfa… Continue Reading

Inflows into Russian funds/ETFs continue for the eighth straight week

Vladimir Kuznetsov, Equity Analyst from Unicredit Securities Inflows into Russia-dedicated funds and ETFs continued for the eighth straight week  in the week to 7 April and reached USD 1.48bn YTD, EPFR data shows. The recent week’s inflow totaled USD 116mn and was completely provided by equity funds,  as ETFs showed a slight outflow of USD… Continue Reading

COMMENT: Kazakhstani non-performing loans continue to decline

By Rustam Botashev, Equity Analyst at UniCredit Securities Kazakhstan’s Financial Supervisory Agency (FSA) published preliminary banking statistics for 2009. Our view: The banking sector’s losses for the year totalled KZT 2,837bn ($19.1bn), or KZT 127bn ($0.9bn) excluding the two defaulted banks (BTA Bank and Alliance Bank). Retail loans declined by 4.8% yoy and corporate loans… Continue Reading

Emerging Manager Firm Shares Fundamentals of Success

By James LaDue from Emerging Manager Focus SCO Capital Partners fund managers have been posting overall gains throughout the past 3 years. I wanted to get more information from the firm based on its success as an emerging manager firm. When I contacted the organization, I was put in touch with John Doss, partner. Emerging… Continue Reading

Key investment themes for 2009 and outlook for 2010

Jerome Booth, Head of Research at Ashmore Investment Management comments on the global backdrop for emerging markets over the past year and forecasts an encouraging future for EM asset classes. Reviewing some of the key themes in 2009: · Whilst there was global disruption to cross-border finance, the main negative impact on selected emerging countries… Continue Reading

Goldman goes long (and late) on Russian equities

By Marcus Williams Research strategists at Goldman Sachs are going long on Russian equities in 2010 on the basis that the country’s growth rate will rebound sharply. Goldman is forecasting that real GDP will rebound to +4.5% in 2010 and accelerate later in the year after a steep 9.5% decline this year. Compared with other… Continue Reading

COMMENT Russia 2010: Worth A Tactical Look

By James Beadle, Global & Emerging Market Strategist, Russia’s under-performance relative to its BRIC peers is justified and well-explained. Yet, it also creates upside potential. Russia is beginning a new development phase, which creates opportunity and makes it an attractive buy for 2010. The potential for decisive progress is limited and many systematic problems… Continue Reading