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

RenCap “most innovative bank” in CEE – The Banker

Renaissance Capital has been declared this year’s “most innovative bank” in Central and Eastern Europe by The Banker, a Financial Times group monthly and a leading source of global financial information. RenCap’s rivals on the award shortlist were VTB Capital and Troika Dialog, which has been renamed Sberbank CIB with the exception of its asset… Continue Reading

Troika corporate and investment unit renamed Sberbank CIB

Troika Dialog has announced that its corporate and investment division will be named Sberbank CIB (legal name CJSC Sberbank CIB) effective from October 8. The asset management division of the Moscow-based investment bank will also be renamed but will be called Troika Dialog AM until its rebranding process is over. Sberbank CIB will focus on corporate… Continue Reading

Russian capital markets hooked up to Euroclear system

By Andrei Skvarsky. The Euroclear financial services company has plugged Russia’s capital markets into its pan-European settlement and clearing system, according to Business New Europe (BNE). The Brussels-based system is now open to OFZs, one of the most actively traded classes of Russian government bonds, and to other Russian government and municipal bonds, corporate bonds… Continue Reading

RenCap hires ex-Morgan Stanley banker to run ECM & DCM business

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital has hired Isabella da Costa Mendes from Morgan Stanley as head of equity capital markets and debt capital markets execution. Da Costa Mendes is based in London, RenCap said. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Da Costa Mendes worked for 10 years at JP Morgan, where she held positions… Continue Reading

Baring Vostok Capital Partners raises $1.5 billion for investment in Russia

 Equity firm Baring Vostok Capital Partners has raised the largest investment fund in Russia totaling $1.5 billion to invest in local internet projects, financial services and the resources industry. Moscow-based Baring Vostok, headed by former banker Michael Calvey, Alexey Kalinin and Elena Ivashentseva, has attracted $1.15 billion for its fifth main fund, Baring Vostok Private… Continue Reading

BrokerCreditService makes one more hire from Otkritie

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s BrokerCreditService (BCS) has hired Olga Naydenova from Otkritie as senior financial research analyst in Moscow, recruiting one more in a series of bankers and analysts who have come over from the rival Russian broker over the past several months. Naydenova took up her BCS job today, Luis Saenz, the London-based head… Continue Reading

Raiffeisen, Sberbank co-run Eurasian Development Bank’s Eurobond sale

By Andrei Skvarsky.  Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Sberbank CIB, a former unit of Troika Dialog, co-managed the recent successful sale of the Russian ruble-denominated Eurobonds by Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), an international institution set up by the governments of Russia and Kazakhstan. The five-year securities with maximum 8% yields made up what was the first-ever… Continue Reading

Sberbank hires ex-Merrill banker in boosting investment team

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank CIB, a former Troika Dialog division, has hired Vlada Gosal from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) as managing director for debt capital markets in building out an investment banking platform for parent firm Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender. Gosal took up her new role on Monday, according to a statement from Troika,… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: Some Questions for the Asian Economic Century

By Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. I returned from a quick trip through parts of Asia on Saturday, thinking that we have reached a critical stage in terms of economic policy and development in many parts of that region, especially in terms of whether this century will turn out to be “theirs” in… Continue Reading

BlackRock buys stake in Micex-RTS with RDIF support

By Andrei Skvarsky. Funds run by BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, have bought an undisclosed number of shares in Moscow’s Micex-RTS exchange with support from the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a sovereign co-investment fund whose task is to attract foreign private equity to Russia. The sale of the stake to funds managed by… Continue Reading

BrokerCreditService hires ex-UBS analyst as chief strategist

By Andrei Skvarsky. BrokerCreditService (BCS), a Russian stock trader, has hired Kirill Chuyko from Swiss Bank UBS as chief strategist, senior metals and mining analyst and co-head of equity research. Chuyko, who was a senior Moscow-based metals and mining analyst for UBS for the past two years, took up his BCS job on Thursday, according to… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Troika Dialog hires ex-RenCap banker to co-run equity sales trading

By Andrei Skvarsky. Troika Dialog has hired Robert Hagon from Renaissance Capital as co-head of equity sales trading, an appointment that is part of the Moscow-based brokerage’s current integration with Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender. Hagon has already taken up his duties in the London office of Troika, whose merger with Sberbank aims to give the… Continue Reading