Morgan Stanley: weak investment main cause of Russian slowdown

By Andrei Skvarsky. Morgan Stanley believes poor investment is the main cause of Russia’s decelerating economic growth. {{{?}}} Weak investment has been more powerful as a growth decelerator than robust global oil prices have been as an accelerator, the bulge bracket bank’s chief economist for Russia, Jacob Nell, argued at a briefing in Moscow last… Continue Reading

US Revere Capital Advisors sets up merchant banking group, makes hires

By Andrei Skvarsky. Revere Capital Advisors, a New York- and London-based financial services boutique, has set up a merchant banking group, Revere Merchant Capital (RMC), and made three senior hires for the new firm. {{{?}}} “RMC will lead and co-invest in equity and debt financings in connection with change of control, acquisition and expansion capital… Continue Reading

Moscow forum discusses high-tech investment

By Andrei Skvarsky. RVC, a Russian state-owned high-tech investment company, has helped organise an international forum last week that looked at ways of giving an impetus to Russia’s technology industries. {{{?}}} The role of corporate venture funds, high-tech investment vehicles set up by large corporations, was among issues raised at Moscow’s First Corporate Venture Summit,… Continue Reading

Sberbank hires ex-RBS banker as head of FX

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank has hired Frederic Blondel, a former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and ABN AMRO banker, as head of foreign exchange and flow derivatives corporate sales at Sberbank CIB, the investment arm of Russia’s biggest lender. {{{?}}} Blondel, who will be based in Moscow and has more than 20 years’ experience in… Continue Reading

VTB Capital raises $95.2m by selling stake in IT firm on NYSE

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s VTB Capital has raised $95.2m by selling its stake in Russian software development and IT outsourcing company Luxoft in a secondary public offering (SPO) on the New York Stock Exchange in which the Moscow-based bank was one of the bookrunners. {{{?}}} The offering was more than three times oversubscribed and attracted… Continue Reading

Deutsche Bank selling Russian subsidiary to Aton

By Andrei Skvarsky. Deutsche Bank has agreed to sell its Russian subsidiary Deutsche UFG Capital Management (DUCM) to Russian investment group Aton in what would purportedly make the latter one of Russia’s biggest asset managers. {{{?}}} The deal, which needs approval from Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, would make Aton the 100% owner of DUCM, an… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Tinkoff shares plummet 40%

By Andrei Skvarsky. Tinkoff Credit Systems stock plummeted 40% to $9 per share on Friday on news that Russia’s government is planning a law to restrict distant distribution of credit cards by banks. {{{?}}} It would then only be possible to obtain a card from a bank office. “This is only one of many initiatives… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange to change collateral requirement for derivatives market

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow Exchange plans a reform in its derivatives market in which the entire collateral would have to be in U.S. dollars instead of today’s requirement of 50% in dollars and 50% in Russian rubles. {{{?}}} “The change will simplify operations for foreign market participants and lower funding costs for Russian market participants,”… Continue Reading

RenCap hires banker from Merrill for Turkey sales

Russia’s Renaissance Capital has hired Ozlem Turgay from Merrill Lynch as an equity salesperson for its Istanbul office. {{{?}}} Turgay will report to Benjamin Samuels, global head of equities at RenCap, and to Burak Akbulut, head of execution for Turkey, the Moscow-based investment bank said in a statement. Turgay has held Istanbul- and New York-based… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange chosen as IPO floor by major footwear retailer

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow Exchange is soon going to host one more IPO, with major Russian footwear retailer Obuv Rossii planning to put one quarter of its stock on sale and expecting to raise between 1.5bn and 2bn rubles ($46m-$62m) thereby. {{{?}}} The planned sale would be run by a consortium led by Russian broker… Continue Reading

VACANCY – Senior Russia/CIS Private Banker – Singapore

My client is a top tier Asian bank and they are looking to add senior relationship managers to their Russia/CIS desk in Singapore. The candidate must have AUM of 250m+ USD. Target clients will be UHNWI from Russia, Ukraine and most importantly Kazakhstan. Location: Singapore Recruiting Company: Oxbow Executive Search Ltd Contact Person: Leon Zwiefka-Sibley… Continue Reading

NASDAQ, Moscow Exchange sign deal to help Russian start-ups

By Andrei Skvarsky. NASDAQ and Moscow Exchange have clinched a deal to join forces in helping Russian high-tech start-ups to get listed on the two bourses. {{{?}}} The two exchanges are to co-organise conferences, workshops and presentations for innovative companies and international investors under the agreement, the Moscow bourse said in a statement. The deal… Continue Reading

Russia’s Nomos bank carries out successful SPO on Moscow Exchange

By Andrei Skvarsky. The Nomos banking group, one of Russia’s largest private lenders, carried through a successful secondary public offering of shares on Moscow Exchange last week, raising 19.08bn rubles ($600m) by selling all the securities it offered. {{{?}}} Gazprombank and Otkritie Capital co-organised the SPO. Demand exceeded supply, with Nomos giving priority to major… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Russia’s BCS hires ex-ING analyst to oversee consumer sector research

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian brokerage BCS has hired Anna Kochkina, a former senior equity researcher at ING Bank, as senior equity analyst for the consumer sector, Luis Saenz, head of equity and derivatives sales trading at BCS, told {{{?}}} Kochkina, who received high accolades in the Extel survey for consumer sectors in Europe, the… Continue Reading

London’s Oracle Capital takes control of Moscow’s Third Rome

By Andrei Skvarsky. Oracle Capital Group, a global multi-family office and wealth consultancy, has bought a blocking stake in Third Rome, a Moscow-based wealth manager. {{{?}}} “Third Rome will continue to operate under the Third Rome Group name and brand as a self-managed group of companies.  In cooperation with Oracle Capital Group, Third Rome will… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange chosen by NASDAQ-listed Qiwi as SPO co-host

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow Exchange has a new feather in its cap now that Qiwi, a top-notch provider of electronic payment services in Russia and the CIS, opted for the bourse as one of the floors, along with NASDAQ, for trading its American depositary shares (ADSs) after a successful IPO in the United States. {{{?}}} Co-managed… Continue Reading

RenCap appoints global co-heads of investment banking

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s Renaissance Capital has announced two senior promotions, appointing two bankers as global co-heads of investment banking. One of the appointees is Alexander Merzlenko, who has been president of Renaissance Capital Russia since December 2012 and will combine this position with his new job. The other is Ron Golan, who joined RenCap… Continue Reading

RenCap chief resigns, ex-Merrill banker comes in to run global equities

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s Renaissance Capital has parted company with its chairman and co-chief executive John Hyman, who has overseen the Moscow-based investment bank’s transition from being a money-losing to a profitable business. {{{?}}} Simultaneously, RenCap, which is part of billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Group, hired ex-Merrill Lynch banker Benjamin Samuels as head of global… Continue Reading

Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley to co-manage Alrosa IPO

Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Russia’s VTB Capital and Renaissance Capital will co-manage a planned IPO announced by Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s main diamond producer, on Wednesday. Alrosa will offer a 16% stake for sale on Moscow Exchange, the state-controlled company, which produces 94% of Russia’s diamonds, said in a statement. Continue Reading

Sberbank gives ex-Renaissance Group banker senior job at HNWI unit

Sberbank has hired Rudolf Scherrer from Russia’s Renaissance Group as deputy head of private banking. Scherrer who took up his job in the high-net-worth individuals division of Russia’s largest lender on September 27, Sberbank said in a statement. Previously he spent 12 years in a series of Switzerland- and Russia-based positions at Credit Suisse before… Continue Reading

Sberbank increases majority stake in venture with BNP Paribas

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, has enlarged to 74% from 70% its stake in Cetelem Bank, its Russian retail joint venture with BNP Paribas. The increase marks the closure of a deal between Sberbank and BNP Paribas Personal Finance, the French bank’s retail unit, announced in July. Sberbank is currently transferring its car… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Accuity launches bespoke PEP screening software for Russian market

By Andrei Skvarsky. Business data provider Accuity, part of Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier, is launching a unique risk assessment tool tailored for the Russian banking sector – a database to enable banks to screen potential customers from among politically exposed persons (PEPs) more efficiently than its predecessors. {{{?}}} The database, whose main purpose is to… Continue Reading

Sberbank’s investment arm hires bankers from UBS, Merrill

Sberbank CIB, the investment arm of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank, has made two appointments in its global markets department, hiring Nicholas (Nick) Harwood from UBS as head of equity and Sascha Prinz from Bank of America Merrill Lynch as head of rates in the fixed income, currencies and commodities unit. Harwood held London- and Johannesburg-based… Continue Reading

Lombard Odier banker: Russia’s slowdown has nothing to do with “middle income trap”

By Andrei Skvarsky. Swiss bank Lombard Odier’s investment chief has brushed aside a common theory that blames Russia’s current economic slowdown on a “middle income trap”, a situation where a rapidly developing economy practically stalls when incomes reach a certain level. {{{?}}} The source of the problem are balance of payments (BOP) dynamics, Paul Marson… Continue Reading

Japan govt lending Sberbank $600m to pay for imports

By Andrei Skvarsky. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), is to provide Sberbank, Russia’s top lender, with a series of long-term loans to a total of $600m to finance Russian imports of goods and services from Japan under an agreement signed last week. “We have been working with JBIC for a few years already and… Continue Reading

Sberbank becomes agent of $750m syndicated loan for Ukraine govt

Russia’s Sberbank became the underwriter of a recent $750m syndicated loan for Ukraine’s government.  “This is the first time that Sberbank has provided a loan to Ukraine and therefore is an important step towards future cooperation,” the biggest Russian lender’s investment arm Sberbank CIB said in a statement. Sberbank CIB was the loan’s technical organiser. Continue Reading

EBRD appoints new Head of Yerevan office

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has appointed Mark Davis as the new head of the Yerevan Resident Office. Davis is replacing Valeriu Razlog, who has been appointed as Senior Banker in the Natural Resources team at the EBRD’s headquarters in London. Prior to taking up the position at the EBRD, Davis was… Continue Reading

Citi, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley to offer DMA to Moscow Exchange

By Andrei Skvarsky. Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are going to begin to offer their clients direct market access (DMA) to trade in Russian securities on Moscow Exchange this month. Two other major global banks are expected to follow suit later this year, Russia’s largest trading platform for equities, bonds, derivatives and currencies said… Continue Reading

Sberbank’s Turkish arm plugged into MoneyGram network

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank’s Turkish operation Denizbank is expected to become the biggest Turkish agent for global money transfer company MoneyGram under a recent agreement. {{{?}}} The deal plugged one of Turkey’s top lenders into the network of a remittance firm that runs successful business in 198 countries but last year admitted to fraud charges… Continue Reading