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

Deutsche Börse-owned firm: Crimea fallout makes Russian businesses pessimistic

By Andrei Skvarsky. A survey by a Deutsche Börse-owned research firm suggests the international fallout from Russia’s annexation of Crimea has brought a lot of pessimism to the Russian business community. {{{?}}} With the looming threat of tough anti-Russian sanctions, business confidence among Russian companies has dropped in March to its lowest level in three… Continue Reading

6th Russia & CIS Summit on Anti-Corruption – March 25-27, 2014 – Moscow

{{{?}}} The anti-corruption enforcement environment in Russia is rapidly evolving. Attend the region’s premier anti-corruption compliance event and equip your company and client with the tools to stay one step ahead of the enforcement curve. One of the most complex political and business environments in which to function, over the past year several companies are… 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

Deutsche Börse analysts: consumer sentiment in Russia plunges

By Andrei Skvarsky. A Deutsche Börse-owned research company has said a survey it took in February before the crisis in Ukraine reached its disastrous proportions showed consumer sentiment in Russia to have slumped to its lowest level since March 2013. {{{?}}} Previous surveys by MNI Indicators showed consumer optimism to have risen in December and… Continue Reading

Markit: emerging markets still “downbeat” about future

By Andrei Skvarsky. Global financial information provider Markit says a survey it made last month suggests emerging markets remain “downbeat” about the future. {{{?}}} “Improving confidence and post-crisis high capex and hiring intentions in the developed world contrast markedly with ongoing downbeat expectations for the year ahead across the emerging markets,” the London-headquartered company said… 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

Lombard Odier banker: Sberbank, VTB to survive Western sanctions

By Andrei Skvarsky. A top executive at Lombard Odier, one of Europe’s biggest private banking firms, has argued that Sberbank, VTB and other Russian state-controlled banks would most likely be targets of potential Western sanctions against Russia because of its invasion of Crimea but that the lenders would stay afloat without major damage. {{{?}}} Domestic… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Chief economist at Deutsche Börse-owned firm argues what reforms Russia needs

In this interview with, Philip Uglow, chief economist at MNI Indicators, a Deutsche Börse-owned research firm, explains what he believes Russia needs to do to achieve sustainable growth. {{{?}}} You have said Russia needs structural changes to its growth model. Could you outline what specifically such changes should be? Russia’s weak business climate remains… 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

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