Putin Bans Officials From Owning Foreign Assets Via Third Parties

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 29, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law banning state officials from owning “foreign financial instruments” through third parties. The text of the new law – which applies to members of parliament, government officials, and law enforcement officers – was published on an official government legal website. The document defines foreign financial […]

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New Bill Forces Russian Companies to Disclose Owner Information

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 8, 2016) Russia’s State Duma has passed a new bill obliging companies to disclose information on their beneficiaries at the request of the authorities, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday. The bill was prepared as part of the country’s push to improve economic transparency and decrease the use of offshore holdings. Russian President Vladimir […]

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RBTH: Russian business repatriates money from offshore zones

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Russian entrepreneurs have decided to bring their money back home from offshore havens. Statistics show that the largest amounts have returned to Russia from the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda. Additionally, $1 billion or more has entered Russia from such countries as Germany, France and the UK. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – […]

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Panama Papers: Are Russian entrepreneurs actually moving back onshore?

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

The latest information published from the Panama Papers shows that some Russian billionaires began closing their offshore companies after the beginning of the governmental de-offshorization campaign in 2015. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH – rbth.ru – May 16, 2016) According to the business newspaper RBK Daily, the expanded database of the so-called Panama Papers, published in May […]

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Russia Ratifies International Agreement on Financial Information Exchange

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 12, 2016) Russia has signed an international agreement on the exchange of financial information, state news agency TASS reported Thursday. The head of Russia’s Federal Taxation Service (FNS) Mikhail Mishustin said that Russia will join the global system of data exchange between tax authorities in different countries in 2018. “This will allow us to […]

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Were the Panama Papers Planted? Who Cares.

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 15, 2016) Last week, a respected Russia scholar in the U.S. speculated that the Kremlin might be behind the so-called Panama Papers, the big dump of data about offshore accounts that has implicated several countries’ officials in shady dealings. And on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin of Russia blamed the U.S. for the […]

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Russia Sees First Capital Inflow in 5 Years

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 12, 2015) Russia has recorded its first quarterly net capital inflow in five years, with $5.3 billion flowing into the country from July to September, according to preliminary Central Bank data published Friday. The inflow reverses a period of record capital flight following last year’s sharp fall in the price of […]

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Black cash still oils Ukrainian politics

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG: Graham Stack in Kyiv – July 17, 2015) In his first interview since being fired as head of Ukraine’s state security service on June 16, Valentyn Nalivaichenko alleged that Ukraine’s leading political parties are behind huge flows of secret funds moving to and fro from offshore jurisdictions. He is only the highest […]

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What Does Greece’s ‘No’ Vote Mean for Russia?

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova, Delphine d’Amora – July 7, 2015) As EU leaders gather Tuesday to seek an answer to Greece’s sweeping rejection of international bailout terms, Russia -the EU’s third-largest trading partner – is quietly waiting to see where the chips fall. Hailed as a victory for democracy by Greece’s new far-left leaders, the resounding “no” […]

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Lack of Action Questions Forum’s Reform Agenda

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – ST. PETERSBURG – June 19, 2015) Amid the grandiose, ambitious slogans of this year’s International Economic Forum, which opened Thursday featuring topics ranging from building efficiency in essential state-owned enterprises to making Russian jurisdiction “more comfortable for business,” the need to shift from defining problems to acting on them loomed large across […]

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Beleaguered Russian Science Foundation Dynasty Delays Decision on Closure

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 9, 2015) Beleaguered science organization the Dynasty Foundation, which has been grappling in recent days with whether or not to shut its doors, announced that a decision on the matter will be delayed to provide time to wrap up ongoing projects, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday. Following its inclusion on […]

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$110 Billion Expected to Flee Russia This Year as Sanctions Bite

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 29, 2015) Capital flight from Russia is forecast to hit $110 billion this year, the Economic Development Ministry said Thursday, as Western sanctions limit foreign investment and force Russian companies to pay off billions of dollars in foreign debt. The ministry’s base forecast anticipates that U.S. and EU sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine […]

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Russia Sees Further Drop in Capital Outflows as Economy Adjusts

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Anna Andrianova – April 14, 2015) Russian capital outflows will slow further as bonds and the ruble stage a comeback following a sell-off last year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. Net outflows will slow to $15 billion in the second quarter after a “sharp decline” in the previous three months, bringing the total for […]

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Russian Capital Flight Slows to $32.6 Billion in First Quarter

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 10, 2015) Net capital outflow from Russia was $32.6 billion in the first quarter of the year, down from $72.9 billion in the previous three months, suggesting that panic over Russia’s economic crisis has receded, data published this week by the Central Bank showed. Capital flight from Russia nearly tripled in 2014 from the […]

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Almost all net capital outflow from Russia in Q1 due to debt payments – CBR

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. April 13 (Interfax) – The private sector net capital outflow from Russia of $32.6 billion in the first quarter of 2015 was almost completely due to payments on the foreign debt of the private sector, which amounted to $29.8 billion, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said in comments released by its press service. Another $2.9 billion of the […]

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Russian money infects London

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 31, 2015) Walk down Oxford Street into Knightsbridge and the signs “we speak Russian” are pasted inside the windows of many high-end shops. Bishops Avenue in north London has become one of the world’s most expensive addresses and is home to several oligarchs in exile. The lingua franca […]

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Russia Sets Terms for Capital Amnesty to ‘Correct Past Mistakes’

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Biryukov, Anna Andrianova – March 26, 2015) Russia laid out the terms of a draft law to offer amnesty on repatriating capital, promising new incentives and legal protections to aid an economy starved of investment by sanctions over Ukraine. The bill won’t require the return of assets to Russian territory, demanding only their registration in […]

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Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov Sees Hard Landing for Russia

Igor Shuvalov file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Ott Ummelas, Anna Andrianova – January 23, 2015) Russia is in an “extremely difficult” economic situation and faces a worse crisis than in 2008-2009, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. The country must prepare for a hard landing, Shuvalov said at a breakfast organized by the nation’s biggest lender, OAO Sberbank (SBER), […]

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Putin offers Russian business ‘full’ offshore capital amnesty

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 4, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a complete capital amnesty, allowing businesses to repatriate offshore funds without fear of the consequences. “We need to finally turn the ‘offshore page’ in the history of our economy and country,” Putin told the federal assembly in his annual address. “If someone […]

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Interfax: Russian Investigations Committee drafts measures to slow down capital flight

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(Interfax – November 24, 2014) Russian Investigations Committee has prepared its own proposals allowing to “considerably slow down” the capital flight from Russia, the committee’s head Aleksandr Bastrykin has said, as reported by privately-owned news agency Interfax on 24 November. “We are so wealthy and powerful that we will be able to cope with problems caused by sanctions that are […]

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Russian Capital Flight May Hit $130 Billion, Finance Minister Says

Anton Siluanov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 18, 2014) Capital outflow from Russia could grow to $130 billion this year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Monday, news agency Bloomberg reported. The prediction brings the government’s expectations closer to that of the Russian Central Bank, which said on Nov. 10 that capital outflow could hit $128 billion in 2014. Investors have been […]

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Interfax: Capital outflow from Russia might be lower than $100 bilion forecast in 2014 – minister

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) – Capital outflows from Russia in 2014 could turn out to be less than the official forecast of $100 billion, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev believes. “We haven’t changed the forecast for this year. It is still $100 billion. Our accumulated outflow, I believe, is currently $78 billion for eight months and it looks like it […]

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Russia’s capital flight hits 75 billion dollars

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – Moscow, July 9, 2014) According to an assessment by the Central Bank of Russia, the net export of capital by banks and companies from the Russian Federation in the first half of 2014 was 74.6bn dollars. That is 120 per cent higher than in the first half of 2013 (33.7bn dollars), the Bank of Russia [Central Bank] has […]

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RIA Novosti: Proportion of ‘Grey Capital’ Outflow from Russia Reached 20%-40% in 2012-2013 – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti) – The proportion of “grey capital” outflow from Russia in 2012-2013 reached 20 percent to 40 percent, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday during his annual report in the country’s lower house of parliament. “One of the forms of outflow comes from those who are looking for more attractive markets for their money. And […]

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Capital Flight From Russia Expected to Reach $70-80B

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Finance Ministry has forecast this year’s capital outflow from Russia as reaching $70-80 billion, the director of long-term planning at the ministry said Monday. “We are certain that it won’t jump to $100 billion this year. A more reasonable estimate would be around $70-80 billion,” Maxim Oreshkin said. “The prognosis we have […]

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RIA Novosti: Capital Outflow from Russia Due to Ruble Rate, Not Crimea

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

BERLIN, April 10 (RIA Novosti) – The outflow of capital from Russia is not tied to events in Ukraine, but to fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Thursday. “The outflow of capital is not mainly tied to Crimea, the outflow, of course, is connected with the events that happened in […]

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Russian Economic Ministry revises capital outflow forecast up to $100 bln for 2014

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. April 9 (Interfax) – Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has increased its capital outflow forecast for this year to $100 billion from the previous $25 billion, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said at a Tuesday evening briefing in Moscow. The outflow forecast for next year in the conservative scenario is increased to $50, in the base scenario to $40 […]

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RIA Novosti: Geopolitics Poses Risks to Russian Financial Stability – Bank of Russia

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – A review of ratings of Russian borrowers and the threat of their exclusion from international capital markets may affect Russia’s financial stability, the head of the Central Bank of Russia said Wednesday. “The geopolitical risks are large, especially if our banks and companies run into limitations on refinancing in Western markets, and a review […]

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Capital Flight Expected to Hit Staggering $70Bln in First Quarter

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 25, 2014) Capital flight will reach up to $70 billion in the first quarter of this year amid the deterioration of the country’s relations with the West over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, a deputy economy minister said. The forecast marks what would amount to the largest capital flight since the 2008 […]

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Interfax: Over $1 trillion moved out of Russia to offshore areas in 20 years – Federation Council Chair Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 25 (Interfax) – More than $1 trillion has been siphoned off from the Russian economy to offshore territories in the past 20 years, Russian Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko said on Wednesday. “According to estimates by numerous experts, over $1 trillion worth of Russian capitals has been funneled to offshore jurisdictions in 20 years,” Matviyenko said in an […]

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RIA Novosti: Top Russian Companies Pledge to Reduce Offshore Dependency

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MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) ­ Several top Russian companies have announced plans to reduce their use of offshore holding structures after President Vladimir Putin repeated calls for “deoffshorization” last week, according to a Russian newspaper report Thursday. Aluminum producer Rusal, telecoms giant MTS, truck maker Kamaz, state-owned hydroelectric conglomerate RusHydro and iron ore miner Metalloinvest have all made commitments […]

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Interfax: Companies registered offshore will pay Russian taxes, receive no govt support – Putin

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – Companies with Russian assets that are registered in foreign jurisdictions have to pay taxes according to Russian law, while at the same time will receiving no government support, state contracts, or VEB credits, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “As nothing [has been done about this] in this sphere [‘de-offshoring’ the economy] this year, I […]

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Interfax: ‘De-offshoring’ Russian economy will yield ‘tens of billions’ in additional revenue – Siluanov

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – Initiatives to “de-offshore” the Russian economy, as voiced in President Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly on Thursday, will make it possible to secure additional budget revenue totaling “tens of billions of rubles,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. “I think it will be tens of billions of rubles,” Siluanov told journalists on Thursday. […]

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How Wealthy Russians Buy a 2nd Passport

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sam Skove – October 18, 2013) When Nuri Katz, founder of investment firm Apex Capital, heads for the customs gate, he gets to decide which of his three passports to use ­ – a privilege that his Russian clients would pay up to 5 million euros to enjoy. Katz is in the citizenship-by-investment business. Select […]

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Capital outflow putting pressure on ruble, forcing forecast revisions

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 25, 2013) The growing capital outflow from Russia is putting pressure on the ruble, the Economic Development Ministry said in an economic forecast for 2014-2016 published on Tuesday. “The increase in private capital outflow in 2013 from $30 billion to $70 billion, according to the forecast, was an important factor in the depreciation of the ruble,” […]

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Capital outflow from Russia not yet slowing, ruble not to weaken substantially – Klepach

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 16, 2013) Capital outflow from Russia is not yet slowing but the ruble will not weaken to any great extent, even if oil prices fall, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach told Interfax. “The ruble will not weaken substantially even if oil prices fall markedly. The Central Bank (in that event) will lose more reserves,” Klepach […]

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Russian companies may be forced to declare offshore units

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – August 28, 2013) The Kremlin’s drive to increase transparency and limit the amount of money held in offshore havens could be extended to companies, which will be forced to declare an overseas status. Duma deputy Dmitry Savelyev for the ruling United Russia Party, has submitted a bill, which would oblige the companies to inform […]

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Federation Council has no more senators with foreign assets – Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 19, 2013) The Russian Federation Council has no more senators with foreign accounts and assets, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said. “Members of the Federation Council have complied with the demands of the federal law banning certain categories of citizens to have foreign accounts and assets. The limitations imposed by the law apply to senators as […]

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None of State Duma deputies prefers foreign assets to parliament seat

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 19, 2013) At least 39 State Duma deputies were supposed to make decisions regarding their foreign assets and real estate abroad before August 19. A law, which came into effect on May 19, 2013, compelled deputies to abandon either their assets or their parliament seats. Deputies and public servants are permitted to have real estate abroad […]

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Russian Investors Flock to Virgin Islands After Cypriot Crisis

Map of Caribbean Sea and Environs, Including Virgin Islands Highlighted by Red Box

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – August 19, 2013) President Vladimir Putin’s calls for domestic companies to repatriate their funds back home from offshore jurisdictions have fallen on deaf ears, with almost half of the $67 billion investment by Russian residents abroad in the first quarter of this year settling in the British Virgin Islands, according to figures […]

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Russia’s Wealthiest Selling Apartments in Moscow and Fleeing Country, Realtors Say

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 14, 2013) Many in the Russian Federation and the West were shocked when European countries recently published figures showing that thousands of Russians are now seeking asylum or at least permanent residence abroad, but Russian realtors say that behind these numbers is an even more disturbing one. Ever more wealthy Russians […]

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Spending Abroad by Russians to Hit $42 Billion in 2013

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 25, 2013) Russians will spend 1.7 trillion rubles ($42 billion) abroad in 2013, which represents an increase of 13 percent over last year according to an annual study Citibank released Thursday, though half that amount is being spent online. But while spending abroad continues to increase annually, growth is slowing down in some categories. […]

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Senators Choose Business or Power

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times/RIA Novosti – July 16, 2013) Though the spring session of the upper house of parliament is over, it might not signal an end to the steady stream of wealthy senators who have stepped down as the Kremlin put forward new restrictions on officials owning assets abroad. The nine members of the 166-seat Federation Council who have left since […]

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Customs Union Frauds Behind 40% of Russia Capital Flight

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 20, 2013) Fictitious import contracts with entities from Customs Union member states Belarus and Kazakhstan accounted for 40 percent of Russia’s net capital outflow last year, business daily Vedomosti reported on Thursday citing Central Bank data. About $10 billion could have been laundered through fake imports schemes via Kazakhstan, the Central Bank said in a […]

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Putin to Let Foreign Banks Check Out Officials

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(Moscow TImes – themoscowtimes.com – June 10, 2013) President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing foreign banks and international organizations to check foreign property belonging to election candidates running for positions in state bodies, a news report said Monday. The new law will affect all federal and regional elected officials including the president, State Duma deputies, governors and heads […]

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Russian Capital Flight Continues Unabated – Central Banker

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti -ST. PETERSBURG, June 5, 2013) ­ Russian capital flight remains rampant, with no signs of slowing down, Central Bank chief Sergei Ignatyev said on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, capital outflow remains very high, I dare say. No fall in this trend can be seen,” Ignatyev said. He made headlines in February when he claimed a small group of well-connected individuals […]

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Medvedev: government officials should share economic risks by keeping money in Russia

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 22, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes that government officials and members of parliament should share economic risks with the rest of the country and keep their money in Russian banks, but he is not convinced that they should be prohibited from holding foreign assets. “Members of the government, State Duma deputies, administration officials should after […]

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Ban on Foreign Holdings Gives Kremlin Muscovy-Like Control, Commentator Says

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, May 10 ­ New Russia legislation to prevent officials from having cash or stock accounts abroad, promoted by the regime as a step toward “the nationalization of the elite,” brings Russia into line with countries like Bangladesh rather than the West and gives the Kremlin powers much like those of medieval Muscovy, […]

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