Prudential Real Estate Investors appoints Morgan Laughlin and Victoria Shigehira Sharpe in Asia

Prudential Real Estate Investors has named Morgan Laughlin head of its Asia business, responsible for managing the company’s operations and strategy in the Asia Pacific region. He will be based in Tokyo. Laughlin replaces Victoria Shigehira Sharpe, who has taken a new role with the global institutional relationship group for Prudential Investment Management. Based in Singapore, Sharpe will… Continue Reading

New Governor of the Bank for Slovenia

Following the change of government in Slovenia, Mr Uroš Čufer has been appointed Minister of Finance of the Republic of Slovenia and took office on 21 March 2013, succeeding Mr Janez Šušteršič. Mr Čufer also becomes EIB Governor for the Republic of Slovenia. From 2004 until his appointment as Minister of Finance, Mr Čufer served… Continue Reading

New Governor of the Bank for Malta

Following the general election in Malta on 9 March 2013, Mr Edward Scicluna has taken office as Minister for Finance. Mr Scicluna also becomes EIB Governor for the Republic of Malta. He was also elected in 2009 to the European Parliament where he served for four years as Vice-Chairman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs… Continue Reading

EBRD invests US$ 24.3 million in Egyptian white goods manufacturer

The EBRD is launching its first project with an Egyptian owned company and is now actively providing support to the four reforming economies in the Middle East and North Africa. The EBRD is lending 150 million Egyptian pounds (US$ 24.3 million) to Universal Metallurgical Company S.A.E. to finance the completion of a plant that will… Continue Reading

Investors won’t regret putting money into Polish IT – govt

By Andrei Skvarsky. Poland’s government has launched a promotion programme for the country’s booming information and communication technology sector and invites investors into the industry. {{{*}}} The European Union-funded IT/ICT Business Promotion Programme, launched by Poland’s Economy Ministry, aims to create new Polish brands and will be publicised through planned roadshows in Poland, Germany, Norway,… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: Cyprus never let a crisis go to waste

From the weekly “Viewpoints” of Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset  Management. So how can it be that a $22bn economy can be the dominant global topic for conversation for a full week? {{{*}}} I am fond of saying that China (at least in 2011) was creating the equivalent of another Greece every 121⁄2 weeks.… Continue Reading

RenCap: Russian economy almost at a standstill, recession looming

Moscow’s Renaissance Capital investment bank argues, citing preliminary statistics from the Russian Economics Ministry, that Russia’s economy has practically stopped growing and is in danger of recession. {{{*}}} Declining prices for commodities such as aluminium, tin, crude oil and copper and output contraction in key industries such as mining, pulp and paper, and electrical equipment,… Continue Reading

Sberbank puts ex-RBS banker in charge of FICC sales

Sberbank has hired Peter Urbanczyk from Royal Bank of Scotland as head of fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) sales for the Americas. {{{*}}} Urbanczyk, whose investment banking career spans over 28 years and includes jobs with Bear Stearns, Credit Lyonnais and National Westminster Bank, will be based at the US office of Sberbank CIB, Sberbank’s… Continue Reading

Moscow Exchange launching T+2 deferred settlement scheme

By Andrei Skvarsky. The Moscow Exchange is launching on March 25 a T+2 settlement system, an arrangement where payment for securities that have been bought must be made no later than two business days after the transaction. {{{*}}} The exchange plans to simultaneously continue using its current T+0 immediate payment scheme until the end of… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: Will the BRICS Announce a BRICS Development Bank?

By Jim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (weekly “Vewpoints”) Most stock markets enjoyed a further rally last week with a lot of subsequent media attention especially surrounding the succession of record highs in the Dow Jones index in the US, although the S&P is still yet to vault its pre-crisis highs. It wasn’t such a… Continue Reading

Sberbank hires ex-Barclays banker to run forex trading

By Andrei Skvarsky.  Sberbank has hired Steven Weller, a former Barclays, Lehman Brothers and Citi banker {{{*}}}, as head of foreign exchange trading at the largest Russian lender’s investment arm, Sberbank CIB. Weller, who joined Sberbank on March 22, is based in Moscow, Sberbank said in a statement. He has spent over two decades working… Continue Reading

Saudi Arabia’s Sedco launches Luxembourg platform for Islam-compliant investments

 By Andrei Skvarsky. Sedco Capital, a Saudi Arabian asset manager, has launched a one-stop shop platform in Luxembourg for institutional investments compliant with Shariah {{{*}}}, the Islamic moral code and religious law. The Sedco Capital Global Funds platform offers access to seven investment funds with total assets under management exceeding $1bn. The funds accessible through… Continue Reading

Moorgate Capital advises on $243m buyout of packaging maker

By Andrei Skvarsky. Investment consultancy Moorgate Capital advised on a 160m-pound ($243m) buyout in the European {{{*}}} packaging products industry, Nicholas Mockett of the London-based advisory firm told The transaction involved the sale of Contego Healthcare, a European manufacturer of cartons, leaflets, labels and foils for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, to Filtrona, a supplier of… Continue Reading

EBRD loan to restore and modernise steel production in Croatia

The EBRD is supporting the efforts to restart production at the steel factory in Sisak in central Croatia. The location has a long history of steel operations and has been a major employer. The Sisak Ironworks have been acquired by the Italian company Danieli and their steel company ABS, currently embarking on a restructuring and… Continue Reading

e-Baby commerce industry gets new investments in CEE region

In what can only be considered a boom to e-baby commerce, three independent investments have been made in companies that sell babies’ and children’s products in Europe. First, Russian VC ru-Net has invested USD 6 mln for a 25 per cent equity stake in Esky, a Russian portal that serves the young children’s market. Second investment comes in… Continue Reading

TA Ventures and Paradigm Investments participate in $2.5M Series A Round for prepaid card retailer IQcard

Paradigm Investments and TA Ventures have participated in Series A funding for IQcard, {{{*}}}} a pre-paid card operator in Russia according to Invest-IQ. IQcard is a Russian startup that allows people to purchase pre-paid cards for monetary transactions without the need to open a bank account. Founded in 2012 through the efforts of Fastlane Ventures, Direct Group and CEO Ekaterina… Continue Reading

White Square Office Centre in Moscow has a new owner

A consortium between leading developer AIG/Lincoln, Russian investment bank VTB Capital and global private investment firm {{{*}}} TPG Holdings (sellers) and the investment company O1 Properties, one of the largest owners and managers of a portfolio of high quality office properties in Moscow (purchaser), announce the completion of an investment transaction involving White Square, a… Continue Reading

Markit says world business, mainly US and Chinese firms, upbeat about 2013

By Andrei Skvarsky. According to Markit, a global financial information services company, {{{*}}} the global business community is today much more upbeat about the year ahead than it was last October, with the United States and China showing the highest optimism. “Worldwide business confidence has revived from the post-crisis low seen late last year, with… Continue Reading

Abris closes latest CEE fund on €450m

Abris has exceeded expectations to reach hard-cap for its Abris Capital Fund II {{{*}}} – despite no exits since the GP was founded in 2007. Abris Capital Partners has reached its hard-cap of €450m for a final close on its second fund targeting the CEE mid-market. A total of 21 investors came into the fund,… Continue Reading

Sberbank to lend PGP developer $218m for Moscow project

Sberbank CIB, the investment arm {{{*}}} of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank, plans to open a 10-year $218m credit line for the PGP developer to build a multi-functional shopping and entertainment centre in Moscow. The plan is sealed in a preliminary agreement signed during this week’s MIPIM international real estate show in Cannes, France, Sberbank CIB… Continue Reading

RenCap appoints researchers for consumer-related sectors

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital has added the coverage of Russian consumer-related sectors {{{*}}} to the duties of its analysts David Ferguson and Nick Robinson, who until now have been covering media, information technology and real estate sectors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Ferguson, who has been with RenCap for six years, has… Continue Reading

Sberbank launching residential real estate investment fund

Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, is {{{*}}} launching a closed-end residential real estate mutual fund for non-qualified investors. The Sberbank Residential Real Estate fund, which would finance the construction of relatively inexpensive apartments in Moscow and its suburbs, is being set up by Sberbank Asset Management, a division that was part of Troika Dialog before the… Continue Reading

Sberbank lending $62m for two real estate projects in Krasnodar

Sberbank CIB, the investment arm {{{*}}} of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank, has pledged to provide a 10-year credit line of 1.9bn rubles ($62m) to Russian developer RAMO-M for two projects in Krasnodar in southern Russia. The loan deal was announced at this week’s MIPIM international real estate show in Cannes, France, where Sberbank CIB has sent… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: BCS insists Moscow Exchange shares are good investment

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s CreditBrokerService (BCS) has become {{{*}}} the first broker to launch the research coverage of the stock of the Moscow Exchange, issuing a “buy” recommendation but pointing out that equity trading volumes in Russia for the fourth quarter of 2012 showed a year-on-year drop of 70%. BCS analyst Olga Naydenova suggests a… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: BrokerCreditService hires ex-UBS banker as senior utilities analyst

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian brokerage BrokerCreditService (BCS) has hired Igor Goncharov, a former researcher {{{*}}} with Swiss bank UBS and Dutch lender ING, as senior utilities analyst. Goncharov took up his Moscow-based position at BCS on March 11, Luis Saenz, head of equity and derivatives sales and trading at the firm’s London office, told… Continue Reading

Gazprombank names ex-Swiss banker as head of asset management

Gazprombank has appointed Aylin Suntay, a former Swiss banker who joined the Russian lender in September 2012, {{{*}}} as head of asset management. Suntay headed the small cap equities business at Geneva-based Pictet Asset Management for over a decade before leaving the firm a year ago. In her new position, she replaces Anatoly Miliukov, who… Continue Reading

Former Russian unit of Barclays hires investment banking chief

Moscow’s Expobank, the former Russian retail unit of British bank Barclays, has hired Nikita Riauzov, {{{*}}} an ex-top manager at Russian lender MDM, as head of corporate and investment banking. Riauzov spent nine and a half years at MDM, one of Russia’s largest private banks, first as head of corporate and investment business and then,… Continue Reading

Abraaj considering selling stake in Turkish health insurer Acibadem – Invest IQ

Abraaj Capital, the largest private equity firm in the Middle East, is considering the sale of its 50% stake in Turkish health insurer {{{*}}} Acibadem Sigorta, according to investment intelligence website Invest IQ. Last year Abraaj sold its stake in Acibadem Saglik, Turkey’s largest hospital chain, to Integrated Healthcare Holdings, a division of Malaysian government… Continue Reading