GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: Washington and Beijing

By Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Washington and Beijing. This week has been an important news week, at least for the media, for political developments in the US and China. I would question whether anything has materially changed as a result of the US election and the Chinese leadership handover. The stock markets… Continue Reading

Russia sets up central securities depository

By Andrei Skvarsky. The National Settlement Depository, part of Moscow’s Micex-RTS stock exchange, has been granted the status of Russia’s central securities depository (CSD). “Foreign central depositories will now be able to open nominee accounts with Russia’s CSD,” Micex-RTS said in a statement. Russian state and corporate bonds will have links to international central securities… Continue Reading

Russia’s high-tech market becomes new destination for investors

(Updated) Russia’s High Tech Market Becomes a New Destination for Investors InvestDay at the Open Innovation Forum in Moscow was a Success On October 30-November 2, 2012, RVC (Russia Venture Company), a major LP on VC funds in Russia, held a series of events named RVC Smart Future: InvestDay at the Open Innovation forum in… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: BrokerCreditService hires quant strategist from Gulf Intl Bank

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian brokerage BrokerCreditService (BCS), which has been recruiting intensively over the past few months, has hired Shan Jiang from Gulf International Bank as a quant strategist. Jiang took up his duties at BCS’s London office on Tuesday, Luis Saenz, the London-based head of equity and derivatives sales and trading at the brokerage,… Continue Reading

Troika Dialog name scrapped for good as last unit gets under Sberbank brand

By Andrei Skvarsky. The name Troika Dialog is coming out of use altogether as the brokerage’s asset management arm has changed its name to Sberbank Asset Management (Sberbank AM) effective from November 6. The renaming of Troika Dialog Asset Management is the final act of merger between the 21-year-old Moscow brokerage and Sberbank, according to… Continue Reading

Kazakh oil pipeline aims to raise $199 mln in IPO

Kazakhstan’s oil pipeline monopoly KazTransOil plans to raise 30 billion tenge ($199 million) via an initial public offer (IPO) as part of the Central Asian nation’s “People’s IPO” programme, a senior sovereign wealth fund official said on Friday. The oil-rich country’s government plans to invigorate the small local stock market and raise around $500 million… Continue Reading

RVC SmartFuture: LP Unlimited conference shows relevance of attracting private capital to venture field

The LP Unlimited conference for existing and potential investors in technology startups, Limited Partners and General Partners, held within the framework of the “Open Innovation” forum opened today covered the prospects of attracting private and corporate investment in the capital venture industry. The founder of Medica Venture Partners, Ehud Geller, noted that the state’s involvement… Continue Reading

Nomos banker joins UralSib as top asset manager

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian bank Nomos has parted company with its head of asset management, Yury Belonoschenko, who has been hired by Moscow’s UralSib Financial Corporation for a similar role. Belonoschenko’s UralSib appointment as head of asset management takes effect on November 23, according to a statement from the banking group. His capital markets career,… Continue Reading

SBERBANK CIB COMMENT: Chief economist's view – setting elusive targets

By Evgeny Gavrilenkov, Managing Director, Chief Economist, Sberbank CIB Although inflation remains elevated in Russia, the authorities do not appear to be overly concerned. The Central Bank increased interest rates in September by 25 bps and has repeatedly promised to switch to targeting inflation at some point, but in general the government seems to be… Continue Reading

RenCap hires sales traders for EMEA platform

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital has hired two sales traders for its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) platform. Shu-Ming Peng, who arrives from Morgan Stanley, and Aimee Crane, who previously worked at ING and JPMorgan Chase, will be based at the London office of the Moscow investment bank, according to a statement from RenCap.… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: BrokerCreditService makes one more research hire

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian brokerage BrokerCreditService has made yet another addition to its research team by hiring Anna Kurbatova from Gazprombank as senior telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) analyst. Kurbatova will be based in Moscow and took up her BrokerCreditService job on Monday, Luis Saenz, the London-based head of equity and derivatives sales and trading… Continue Reading

Ex-Kremlin think tank predicts political turmoil in Russia

By Andrei Skvarsky. A think tank that used to be a strategic economic planning centre for the Kremlin argues that “growing discontent” with President Vladimir Putin and his government is likely to precipitate mounting nationwide public unrest. The forecast comes in a report released last week by the Centre for Strategic Research (CSR), a Moscow-based… Continue Reading

RVC hosts RVC Smart Future: InvestDay

   The Russian Venture Company (RVC) will host from October 31 to November 3, 2012 the RVC SmartFuture: InvestDay conference. It will be held within the framework of the Moscow International Forum of innovative development (MIFID) “Open Innovation”.     RVC SmartFuture: InvestDay is a series of events for current and potential investors in technology… Continue Reading

Sberbank CIB lends $1bn to Belarus fertilizer producer

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank CIB, the newly set-up corporate and investment arm of Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, has extended a three-year $1bn loan to Belarussian potash fertilizer producer Belaruskali. The purpose of the loan is to enable Belaruskali to refinance a one-year $1bn syndicated bridge loan received by it from Sberbank and Eurasian Development Bank… Continue Reading

European Parliament urges visa ban, asset freeze for Magnitsky’s alleged killers

By Andrei Skvarsky. The European Parliament on Tuesday passed a non-binding resolution calling for tough European Union-wide sanctions against Russian officials blamed for the allegedly unlawful arrest of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for British investment fund Hermitage Capital, and his death in custody in 2009. The resolution recommends that the EU Council, effectively the Union’s top… Continue Reading

Sberbank strikes loan deal with Russian railways monopoly

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank CIB, a unit of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank and a former division of Moscow brokerage Troika Dialog, has opened short-term credit lines to a total of 50bn rubles ($1.62bn) for Russian railways monopoly RZD. The loan aims to “allow [RZD] to alleviate its short-term financing needs with the goal of more… Continue Reading

Geneva’s Lombard Odier says eurozone breakup inevitable

By Andrei Skvarsky.  Geneva-based Lombard Odier, one of Europe’s largest private banking firms, predicts that the euro will survive as a currency, albeit significantly restructured, but that the eurozone will inevitably part company with some of its constituent countries. The currency needs restructuring if it is to survive, according to Paul Marson, a top Lombard… Continue Reading

Horizon Capital and FMO Invest into Ukrainian Pharmaceutical Company Biofarma

Horizon Capital, regional private equity fund manager, and FMO, the Dutch development bank, announced today their acquisition of a stake in Biofarma, a leading Ukrainian pharmaceutical manufacturer. The capital will be used to construct a modern plant in Kyiv region. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Biofarma is a top 10 Ukrainian… Continue Reading

Russia and commodity prices in the new IMF report

By Dieter Wermuth, Chief Economist, Wermuth Asset Management According to the International Monetary Fund, Russia’s real GDP will expand by 3.7 % y/y in 2012, and by 3.8% next year. Growth continues to be revised down in response to the slowdown of world output. It seems that the new medium term growth rate is in… Continue Reading

Russian PE support fund buys $50m chunk of medical firm

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a sovereign co-investment institution tasked with supporting private equity projects in Russia, has invested $50m in health care firm MD Medical Group (MDMG) during the latter’s recent initial public offering of shares in London. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager and Russian private equity fund Siguler Guff’s Russia Partners… Continue Reading

Bank of Georgia’s investment case marred by political uncertainty – RenCap

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital analysts warn that investing in Bank of Georgia, until now one of the best-performing banks within the boundaries of the former Soviet Union, poses some risks today due to post-election political uncertainty in its home country. Georgian Dream, a coalition that beat the ruling United National Movement (UNM) in Georgia’s parliamentary… Continue Reading

Aton appoints private banking head for northwestern Russia

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow brokerage Aton has appointed Oleg Puntusov, a former Troika Dialog banker, as head of its private banking business in northwestern Russia. Puntusov, who began his stock market career in 1998, worked at Troika offices in the Russian cities of Samara and Togliatti and later headed Troika’s branches in Nizhny Novgorod and… Continue Reading

RenCap carries out reshuffle to beef up equity products group

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Capital has carried through an internal reshuffle to improve cross-regional coordination in its equity products group by making senior appointments in New York, London, Russia and South Africa. Rupert Hope and Florian Hellmich were promoted to global co-heads of distribution in New York and London respectively. They will oversee operations in… Continue Reading

UBS puts ex-Credit Suisse banker in charge of Russia business

By Andrei Skvarsky. UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, has hired Anush Simonian from rival Swiss lender Credit Suisse as its investment banking chief in Russia. Simonian replaces Antanas Petrosius, who remains deputy head for Russia and who also comes from Credit Suisse, having joined UBS in June last year. He will focus on key clients, according… Continue Reading

VTB Capital CEE's debt capital market leader – Dealogic

By Andrei Skvarsky. VTB Capital holds the top position in terms of debt capital deals volume in Central and Eastern Europe in a league table for 2012 compiled by Dealogic, a global financial consultancy and information provider. The brokerage arm of Russia’s VTB Group was also the number one organiser of Eurobond issues in Russia and… Continue Reading

Moscow’s Aton hires ex-govt official to run Yekaterinburg unit

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow-based brokerage Aton has hired Viktor Dolzhenko, until then a senior regional government officer for investment, as head of its branch in Yekaterinburg. Before his two-year tenure as deputy minister for investment and development of the Sverdlovsk region, Dolzhenko headed Troika Dialog’s office in Yekaterinburg, the administrative centre of the region, which… Continue Reading