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

RenCap makes two senior hires for global fixed income team

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s Renaissance Capital has re-hired one of its former senior managers, Rupert Preece, putting him in charge of Sub-Saharan fixed income trading, and hired Marina Ryabokon from Australian mortgage broker Liquidity Finance as director in its international fixed income sales service. {{{?}}} Both Preece and Ryabokon will be based in London, RenCap… Continue Reading

RenCap names chiefs for South Africa

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital, one of Russia’s top-tier investment banks, has announced a minor reshuffle in its African business, promoting Robert Lamprecht, who joined the firm last month, to chief executive for South Africa and appointing Clifford Sacks as chairman of the South African unit. {{{?}}} Lamprecht was hired by RenCap in January as… 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

RenCap hires banker from Goldman Sachs to run London trading

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital, a Russian emerging- and frontier-markets investment bank, has hired David George from Goldman Sachs as head of trading in London. {{{?}}} George will be based in London in his new job, which he takes in March, and report to RenCap’s global head of equities, Ben Samuels. His duties will include… 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

Deutsche Börse group: consumer confidence in Russia rises

By Andrei Skvarsky. A Deutsche Börse-owned think tank says consumer confidence in Russia went up in January after slumping late last year but expresses suspicion that the upturn will be short-lived. {{{?}}} But the current Winter Olympics in Sochi were the likeliest reason for consumer optimism rising for the second consecutive month in January to the highest level… Continue Reading

EAST CAPITAL COMMENT: Confessions of an emerging market optimist

By Marcus Svedberg, Chief Economist, East Capital.* Arguably it is not very easy to be an emerging market (EM) optimist these days. It seems like almost everything and everyone is against the group of markets that were once the darlings of investors. Tapering is the most obvious cause for pessimism and is the most important… 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

Sberbank hires banker from UBS to run HNWI group

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, has hired Alla Aleynikova from Swiss bank UBS to head the group servicing high-net-worth individuals. {{{?}}} Aleynikova is based in Moscow in her new job with Sberbank Private Banking, having relocated from New York, where she worked at UBS’s international division. Previously she spent 11 years at Citigroup… 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

TURKEY: When it rains, it pours – EAST CAPITAL COMMENT

By Emre Akcakmak, Portfolio Manager, East Capital.* It was not so long ago that Turkey was the darling of international investors. Political stability, a young population, a fast-growing economy, declining inflation and a series of rating upgrades encouraged investors to buy Turkish equities and pushed Borsa Istanbul to all-time highs by May 2013 – with… 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

Lombard Odier hails China opting for “better quality” growth

By Andrei Skvarsky. Switzerland’s Lombard Odier, one of Europe’s largest private banking firms, says declining Chinese growth is one of its major concerns from the investment point of view but hails what it sees as China’s determination to move to“better quality” growth, namely from investment-led to consumption-based growth. {{{?}}} Among other things, the Geneva-based bank… Continue Reading

Ex-Citi banker gets senior job at Sberbank’s CEE unit

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, has hired Tamas Haiman from Citibank as head of global markets at Sberbank Europe AG, its Central and Eastern European operation. {{{?}}} Haiman, who joins Sberbank on February 3, will be based in Vienna and report to Igor Strehl at Sberbank Europe and Alexey Zaytsev at the global… 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

Sberbank raises adviser to vice-presidential seat

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, has promoted one of its senior advisers, Teimur Shternlib, to the position of vice-president. {{{?}}} Shternlib has been an adviser to chief operating officer Lev Khasis at Sberbank, which he joined last year after roles as chief investment officer at Russia’s Х5 Retail Group and IT director at… Continue Reading

GUEST COMMENT: CIS/Ukraine macro-politics: investor scenarios

{{{?}}} By Chris Weafer, Founding Partner, Macro-Advisory, Moscow. Chris Weafer’s career includes top research positions with Sberbank, Troika Dialog, UralSib, Alfa Bank and NatWest. Mr Weafer, who has worked in Russia for more than fifteen years, is the author of a wide variety of articles about Russia, Central Asia and the trend in macro oil. He… 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

Sberbank hires Swiss bankers as commodities unit traders

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank CIB, the investment unit of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank, has hired two Swiss bankers as senior traders for the commodities unit of its global markets department. {{{?}}} Sergio Soler, who comes from Swiss bank Julius Bär, has been appointed as senior precious metals trader, and Franck-Eric Fischer joins from Geneva-based consultancy… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: MNI Indicators chief economist Philip Uglow comments on Russia’s economy in interview with EmergingMarkets.me

How would you explain Russia’s current slowdown? Can it be that the global crisis has finally got to Russia – it seems that what happens in Western economies takes a while to reach Russia? {{{?}}} The global economic crisis has clearly had a negative impact on Russia – there’s no getting away from that. Russia… Continue Reading

MNI Indicators: Russian companies’ confidence jumps up

By Andrei Skvarsky. Deutsche Boerse’s data-providing subsidiary MNI Indicators says business confidence among some of Russia’s largest companies bounced back sharply in January from a “record low” in December but warns that the upturn may be temporary. {{{?}}} The MNI Russia Business Indicator rocketed to 57.9 in January from 45.5 in December, to register its… Continue Reading

UBS hires ex-Morgan Stanley bankers as Russia chiefs

By Andrei Skvarsky. UBS has hired two senior former Morgan Stanley bankers to run its Russian operation. {{{?}}} Rair Simonyan is joining the Swiss bank as chairman and Elena Titova as chief executive of its Russian subsidiary, UBS said in a statement. Both are coming over from Russian Regional Development Bank, which is owned by… Continue Reading

Eurex chief to join Swiss bank Lombard Odier as managing partner

By Andrei Skvarsky. Eurex, a derivatives exchange owned by Deutsche Boerse, is going to part company with its chairman Hugo Banziger, who has been appointed as a managing partner of Lombard Odier, one of Europe’s largest private banking firms. {{{?}}} The Swiss economist’s appointment as the ninth managing partner of the oldest private bank in… Continue Reading

VTB chief: West’s Russian policies run against globalisation trends

By Andrei Skvarsky. The president of state-controlled VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest bank, has accused the West of a “patronising”, arrogant and standoffish attitude to Russia, which he argues is not the way to behave in these times of globalisation. {{{?}}} “It sometimes seems that politicians of countries that ought to have much in common are… Continue Reading