EXCLUSIVE: Wermuth fund manager Winsell Davies quits for Metropol role

John Winsell Davies By Ivan Anderzhnov. John Winsell Davies has quit Wermuth Asset Management and has started offering  his ”consulting services” to Metropol. Winsell Davies will work closely with Hawk Sunshine, who switched from a senior investment banking role at Metropol last year to managing director of fund management. Winsell Davies, a Russia veteran with… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN COMMENT: Looking through the fog

By Jim O’Neil, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In the past week, we have experienced remarkable turmoil in financial markets, which have brought back memories for many people of the darkest days of late 2008. Are direct parallels to 2008 valid ? Many other questions also come to mind.  Are current market valuation levels… Continue Reading

Sberbank, VTB and Alfa bring bonuses back to pre-crisis levels

By Andrei Skvarsky. Major Russian lenders Sberbank, VTB and Alfa Bank have resumed the payment of bonuses with remuneration for top managers now returning to pre-crisis levels, according to Vedomosti. The undisputed leader in the generosity stakes is Alfa Bank, which is controlled by oligarch Mikhail Fridman. Nine members of its board collected one billion rubles in salary, bonuses… Continue Reading

Renaissance boosts wealth management arm with two hires

By Andrei Skvarsky. Renaissance Advisors, an investment unit of Renaissance Group, has  boosted its Moscow team by hiring Vagan Amichba and Kirill Schmidt. Amichba has been hired as managing director and a senior financial advisor focusing on the group’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals and cross-selling into all businesses. Before joining Renaissance, he ran his own M&A consulting… Continue Reading

COMMENT: Cruel, cruel summer: Screening Emerging Europe

By Daniel Salter, Chief Strategist at UniCredit Securities. If this is a “normal” mid-cycle market correction, markets could soon start to find a bottom, with the S&P 18% off since its cycle high (in line with the median of fourteen 10%+ downturns for the S&P since 1975). However, if recent events (including the heated debate… Continue Reading

MDM Bank seeks Arab, Asian sovereign wealth investors

By Ivan Anderhanov. MDM Bank, Russia’s second largest private lender,  is holding talks with some Asian and Arabic sovereign investment funds, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Investment Corporation of Dubai. MDM, whose shareholders include businessman Sergey Popov with a 56.3 percent stake and Igor Kim with 11 percent, may offer up to a blocking… Continue Reading

Martin Schwedler named as head of Raiffeisen Invest in Moscow

By Andrei Skvarsky. Austrian bank Raiffeisen has promoted Martin Schwedler to chief executive officer of its investment banking unit in Russia. The joint venture, owned equally by Raiffeisen Investment and ZAO “Raiffeisenbank” in Moscow, offers Russian corporate customers access to equity capital markets and M&A services. Shvedler said he plans to expand the activities of Raiffeisen’s local investment banking… Continue Reading

Raiffeisen snaps up Swedbank's Russian retail business

By Andrei Skvarsky. Raiffeisenbank has bought a Russian retail business from Swedbank, a Swedish lender with a global network which is shutting its entire retail operation in Russia. Joining the swelling ranks of foreign banks shutting their Russian retail operations, Swedbank offloaded its retail division in Kaliningrad to Raiffeisenbank and plans to sell off its remaining… Continue Reading

Kazakhstani banking: Accelerated lending coupled with jump in NPLs

By Rustam Botashev, Deputy Head of Research at UniCredit Securities. Kazakhstan’s bank supervisory committee has published 6M11 banking statistics, showing accelerating loan growth on the backdrop of deteriorating asset quality. We reiterate our Buy recommendations for Halyk Bank (12M TP of USD 14.3) and Kazkommertsbank (USD 9.6). Lending in Kazakhstan accelerated in June, with 1.3%… Continue Reading

BCS poaches top e-traders from RenCap

By Andrei Skvarsky.   Russian broker BCS has hired three senior electronic traders from Renaissance Capital, including head of e-trading Stanislav Surikov.   The other RenCap defectors are Rizwan Kayani, who was chief operating officer at Renaissance’s e-trading group, and Michael Smith, who was in charge of the group’s international sales.   BCS, a Moscow-based… Continue Reading

Evrofinance Capital asks state to halt Micex-RTS merger

By Andrei Skvarsky.   Evrofinance Capital, a Micex minority shareholder, has asked for an official order to reverse the merger of Russia’s biggest stock exchange with the RTS bourse.   The merger will be damaging to Micex, its shareholders, the Russian financial markets and the country as a whole if based on the current scenario,… Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Yevgeny Kogan of Moscow Partners

 By Andrei Skvarsky. Yevgeny Kogan, president of the Moscow Partners investment boutique and a former senior partner at Russian wealth management firm Third Rome, talks to EmergingMarkets.me about his company’s history, current business and plans. Yevgeny, what is your role in the company, which you and Igor Moryakov have founded as partners?  It may be… Continue Reading

WEAFER COMMENT: A Bellerophonic Message

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at ING in Moscow. There continues to be only one key event in global markets and that is the US debt deal. As this note goes out, there is optimism that a deal will be reached either this evening or tomorrow. That should allow for a modest relief rally in… Continue Reading

Equity fund flows: Investors remain optimistic and sidelined

By Chris Weafer, Chief Strategist at ING in Moscow. The total volume of money invested into emerging market (EM) funds last week was relatively low, even for midsummer, as investors prudently remained on the sidelines while waiting for a resolution of the US debt talks. But, although low, the net flow remained positive as a… Continue Reading

UralSib hires Pioneer Investments banker as head of marketing

By Andrei Skvarsky.   Russian bank UralSib has hired Karen Kesoyan from global investment management firm Pioneer Investments as head of marketing and business development at its asset management division.   Kesoyan spent 12 years at Troika Dialog, first as head of public relations and then as advertising director, before joining Pioneer Investments, where he… Continue Reading

Otkritie changing face

 By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian broker Otkritie is going to change its logo, overhaul its websites and carry though a major advertising campaign as part of a newly launched rebranding project. In the course of this re-imaging effort, Otkritie, which has jumped nine positions up on Thomson Reuters Extel’s best Russian brokers lists since last year,… Continue Reading

UralSib hires former Barclays analyst

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russian bank UralSib has hired Anton Tabakh, a former researcher at Barclays and Troika Dialog, as senior fixed income analyst. Tabakh spent several months as a freelance analyst after a brief stint with Barclays. He was senior fixed income analyst both at Barclays and at Troika, covering Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan in… Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton bans Russian officials involved in Magnitsky case

By Ivan Anderzhanov. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has imposed visa sanctions on Russian government officials associated with the death in police custody of Hermitage Capital’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. America is the first country to officially impose sanctions on the Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky case, according to an emailed statement from Hermitage. “The facts… Continue Reading

VTB-led group buys ad firm from Murdoch’s scandal-ridden News Corp

By Andrei Skvarsky.   A VTB Capital-led group of investors has bought advertising company News Outdoor Russia from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.   VTB’s partners in the deal were NOOH Investments Cooperatief and Marathon Outdoor Cooperatief. The former represented the interests of US entrepreneur Peter Gerwe, who has been building media companies in Russia and… Continue Reading

UralSib’s insurance arm to have state interest privatised

By Andrei Skvarsky. UralSib Insurance Group, part of Russian bank UralSib, is going to have minority state interest in it privatised through a public auction. The 1.53m shares would be sold en bloc, with the asking price for the stake set at 51.3m rubles ($1.8m), under an order by the Federal Agency for the Management… Continue Reading

Russia’s AMT Bank struck off

By Andrei Skvarsky. Moscow’s AMT Bank, until 2009 co-owned by major Kazakh lender BTA, has had its licence annulled by Russia’s Central Bank with effect from today. AMT has been failing to comply with “federal laws regulating banking activities” and presenting false accounts, the Central Bank said in a statement. UniCredit analyst Rustam Botashev said… Continue Reading

Ukraine arrests head of financial regulator

By Andrei Skvarsky.   The head of Ukraine’s financial markets regulator, Vasyl Volha, has been arrested on the suspicion of “a corruption-related crime”, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office has announced.   The office did not elaborate but media reports say the chief of the State Regulatory Commission for Financial Services Markets is accused of accepting… Continue Reading

Soloviev and Moos buy stakes in VTB

By Andrei Skvarsky. The VTB group, Russia’s second biggest lender, has sold stakes of 0.003% to its deputy president Herbert Moos and VTB Capital chief executive Yuri Soloviev. The two stakes are the biggest chunks of VTB to be owned by top managers of the group. VTB president Andrei Kostin holds 0.0018% interest in the… Continue Reading

VTB announces “strategic investment” in Deripaska firm

By Andrei Skvarsky. Russia’s VTB Capital has bought a 4.35% stake in energy-related firm En+ Group from oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element, an acquisition described by VTB as a “strategic investment”. VTB said in a statement it had paid $500m for the stake. “We believe that En+ has an immense growth potential that is primarily… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: Who would you want in EMU?

 By Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Western sovereign debt issues rolled on again last week, with fierce competition between the US and the Euro Area for attention. As President Obama and Congress struggle to reach a budget compromise ahead of the debt ceiling deadline, two ratingagencies made it clear that failure to make… Continue Reading

GOLDMAN SACHS COMMENT: A messy start to July

By Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Just when it seemed things were shifting back to the optimists’ camp, Friday’s news about the state of the world threw another spanner in the works. In addition to a very disappointing US nonfarm payrolls report, Italy came into the spotlight in the European crisis. Subsequently, the earliest of the June… Continue Reading