Putin-linked lender to buy out Bank St Petersburg

By Andrei Skvarsky. Bank St Petersburg, one of Russia’s biggest regional lenders, is planning to sell out to the Rossiya bank as state-controlled entities mop up privately held banks. Rossiya is controlled by Yury Kovalchuk, a man widely reputed as Putin’s “personal banker”. The two banks, both of which are based in St Petersburg, are… Continue Reading

RenCap hires Nomura's Shambayati to co-lead global markets

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow-based Renaissance Capital has hired Soroosh Shambayati as managing director and global co-head of markets from Japan’s Nomura. Shambayati will have responsibility for fixed income, currency and commodities (FICC) in Rencap’s key geographies of Russia, the CIS, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Asia and Africa. At Nomura, he had been chairman of global emerging markets.… Continue Reading

Troika names Aton's Fedorova for business support role

Troika Dialog, the brokerage being acquired by state-controlled Sberbank, has appointed Irina Fedorova as director of business support. Fedorova, who last worked at Aton in a business support role, will be responsbile for supporting Troika’s private client division as well as “servicing private clients within the framework of the Sberbank merger”. Prior to Aton, she… Continue Reading

China to launch investment fund for Russia

By Andrei Skvarsky.   China plans to launch a fund to help Chinese small and medium-sized firms to invest in Russia.   China’s National Development and Reform Commission has invited Russia to join the fund when the latter becomes well-established, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua. Continue Reading

The Brits are fast fading in Russia as PM Cameron arrives

By Andrei Skvarsky. British banks HSBC and Barclays, along with oil major BP, are fading from Russia just as UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrives in Moscow on Monday to try to reverse a nadir in British-Russian relations. HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, has shut its modest Russian retail network after committing $200m for building it… Continue Reading

Ex-MICEX boss Rybnikov put at helm of St Petersburg commodity exchange

By Andrei Skvarsky. Ex-head of MICEX Alexei Rybnikov has been appointed as president of the St Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX), a commodity trading floor. SPIMEX’s board of directors unanimously put the reins in the hands of Rybnikov, who headed JP Morgan Chase’s investment banking operation in Moscow and Russia’s National Depository Centre before joining… Continue Reading

VTB Capital hires Ilya Veller from UniCredit for equity sales role

By Andrei Skvarsky. VTB Capital has confirmed to EmergingMarkets.me that it has hired Ilya Veller from UniCredit Securities as senior manager for equity sales at its Moscow office. Veller had a brief six month tenure at UniCredit’s Moscow brokerage, where he headed the special situations group. He previously oversaw sales at Russia’s Aton Capital, which… Continue Reading

HSBC launches emerging markets ETF on the LSE

By Andrei Skvarsky. HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, has launched an emerging markets fund onto the London Stock Exchange. The Irish-domiciled HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets Exchange Trade Fund will replicate the performance of the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) emerging markets index, which tracks the performance of major companies in countries such as Brazil, Russia, China… Continue Reading

Sberbank buys 5% stake in Baturina’s Inteco

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sberbank is buying a 5% stake in construction company Inteco from Yelena Baturina, the wife of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. Binbank co-owner Mikhail Shishkhanov is buying the rest of the construction firm, which is wholly owned by Baturina and has its market value put at $1.2bn. Inteco’s sale to Shishkhanov and… Continue Reading

Nordic fund CapMan gets chunk of Siberian Web provider

By Andrei Skvarsky. CapMan, a Nordic private equity firm, has acquired 20% interest in Russian Internet service provider Siberian Networks and plans to boost the stake to 25% within months. Siberian Networks projects a turnover of about 15m euros ($21.1m) for 2011. One of the leading Web service providers in Siberia with more than 100,000… Continue Reading

Magnitsky mother to be questioned by her son’s alleged killers

By Andrei Skvarsky. Sergei Magnitsky’s mother has been summoned for an interrogation as part of the tax evasion case reopened against the Hermitage Capital lawyer in July, 20 months after his death in a Moscow jail. Natalia Magnitskaya will be questioned as a witness by police officers whom Hermitage accuses of torturing the anti-corruption lawyer… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN COMMENT: Swissy never lies

By Jim O’Neil, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In the context of the ongoing challenges in the US, the Euro Area and elsewhere, this week I have chosen to focus on the Swiss Franc currency. Throughout the market mayhem of August, and its subsequent carry over into the start of September, the Swiss Franc… Continue Reading

Bank of Georgia seeking premium London listing

By Andrei Skvarsky. Bank of Georgia is seeking a premium London Stock Exchange listing, which would open the former Soviet republic’s number one lender to a much broader range of investors. The firm plans to reincorporate as a UK holding company, to be called Newco. It will then come up with a proposal in the… Continue Reading

Merrill Lynch hires analyst from Troika

By Andrei Skvarsky. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired Olga Veselova from Russian brokerage Troika Dialog as an analyst for its Russian subsidiary. Veselova, who was an analyst at Bank of Moscow before joining Troika in 2007, took up her position at Moscow’s Merrill Lynch Securities yesterday, according to Interfax. Troika has parted company… Continue Reading

WEAFER COMMENT: New month – new hope

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at Troika Dialog. Equity markets look set to extend recent gains after another positive session in the US and broadly based gains across Asia this morning. However, after such a strong run into the end of August, investors will likely adopt a more cautious approach until the important economic indicators,… Continue Reading

Alfa-Bank to part company with CEO Johann Jonach

By Andrei Skvarsky.   Alfa-Bank chief executive Johann Jonach is going to quit Russia’s largest non-state lender in a month’s time.   Jonach, who formerly worked at Raiffeisen Bank International AG, has opted against renewing his contract with Alfa, which expires in October, Vienna-based monthly Trend said, citing the top manager himself.   Alfa declined… Continue Reading

S&P warns Russia about 'ambiguous' presidential coronation

By Marcus Williams. Global ratings agency Standard and Poor‘s  yesterday warned  that “an ambiguous succession process” leading up to next year’s elections was adding risks to a centrally managed economy. S&P  affirmed Russia’s BBB long-term foreign currency sovereign rating and A-3 short-term rating with a stable outlook. However, the agency damned Russia’s current election process,… Continue Reading

Russia direct investment sank 20% in first quarter

By Marcus Williams. Russia suffered a 20% slump in direct investment to $12.825bn compared to the fourth quarter of last year. Direct investment includes foreign participation in Russian companies, reinvested profit and other capital. From 2010, the regulator has included investment not only in non-banking firms, but also in the banking sector. In the first… Continue Reading

Pressure grows on Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas to pull out of Belarus

By Ivan Anderzhanov. Pressure is mounting on European lenders Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas to quit fundraising for pariah state Belarus after Royal Bank of Scotland announced that it will not do any more deals for Minsk. RBS, along with Deutsche and BNP, helped Belarus issue $1.8bn in sovereign eurobonds after opposition presidential candidates were… Continue Reading

Troika Dialog snags JP Morgan banker

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian brokerage Troika Dialog has hired Anton Malkov from J.P. Morgan for a senior investment banking role. Malkov spent more than two years as a Moscow-based vice president of Deutsche Bank before joining J.P. Morgan’s Moscow operation. Malkov’s duties at Troika include deal structuring and consultancy, the firm said in a statement.… Continue Reading

Otkritie hires consumer analyst from Nomura

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian broker Otkritie has confirmed it has hired Mikhail Terentiev from Nomura International as senior consumer analyst. Terentiev had a similar role at Nomura, which he joined in 2008 after a two-year spell as an equity research analyst at Troika Dialog. Continue Reading

Barclays gets near to Russian exit lounge

By Ivan Anderzhanov. British bank Barclays is close to selling its Russian retail and commercial banking business to Kazcommertzbank, Kazakhstan’s biggest lender. Barclays could agree to the sale of Expobank as soon as next week, according a report by the UK broadcaster Sky News. The UK high-street lender will continue to do business in the… Continue Reading

Renaissance names Yvonne Ike as CEO of West Africa

By Andrei Skvarsky Renaissance Capital, the emerging markets investment bank, has  named Yvonne Ike as chief executive for West Africa, based in Lagos. Ike replaces Rotimi Oyekanmi, who has been appointed chairman emeritus for Renaissance Group,  West Africa.  In this role, Oyekanmi, who joined Renaissance in 2007, will be responsible for the build-out of Renaissance’s… Continue Reading

Traders wary of Micex's suspension for ''technical reasons''

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s leading Micex stock exchange was suspended yesterday in a move reminiscent of trading halts that occurred frequently following the 2008 financial crash. The bourse attributed the one-hour plus suspension to ”technical reasons.”  It later reopened before closing down 3.7 percent as global equities tumbled. However, many market makers in Moscow and… Continue Reading

Russian champanksa maker to go pop with IPO

By Marcus Williams. Russian sparkling wine producer Abrau-Durso is planning an initial public offering at the end of 2011 or the start of 2012. “The shares are likely to be placed on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX), but we are not considering foreign trading floors yet,” a spokespersn told Ria Novosti yesterday. The company,… Continue Reading

EBRD attracts SRI lender to Russian market for first time

By Marcus Williams. An EBRD loan for Russia’s Transcapitalbank marks the first time an institution with a specific mandate to act as a socially responsible lender is participating as a co-financier to raise funds for a Russian borrower. To date, the EBRD’s partners in such transactions have traditionally been commercial banks, according to a statement from the… Continue Reading

State Street appoints Raynes for senior EMEA role

State Street Global Advisors, the US fund giant, has recruited Susan Raynes as head of its UK, and EMEA institutional business. Raynes, who was previously head of SSgA’s San Francisco office, replaces Kanesh Lakhani, who worked at the firm for 13 years. Raynes will report to EMEA  head Greg Ehret and will be responsible for identifying institutional business… Continue Reading