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Tag Archive for Finance

Ukraine update

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Tim Ash, Standard Bank – July 24, 2014) What is now clear on the ground is that Ukraine is at war, and with significant casualties suffered now by both sides on a daily basis – tens of lives lost almost daily now. The conflict is also causing very significant

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

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Crisis Harmless for Russian Financial System – Central Bank

Russian Central Bank file photo

MOSCOW, July 8 (RIA Novosti) – The consequences for the Russian financial system if the crisis in Ukraine further escalates will be limited, according to a review of financial stability conducted by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) for the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. “The possible direct consequences for

How Bulgaria’s Bank Run Affects Ukraine’s European Dream

EU Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ian Wishart, Elizabeth Konstantinova – July 3, 2014) Joining the European Union was meant to give Bulgaria a fresh start. Try telling that to Anna Dimitrova. “Bulgaria didn’t gain from the EU as much as it could have, because it’s mismanaged by corrupt politicians,” said Dimitrova, a law student, in central

Why Putin Is in Trouble With 86% Approval

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com –  Evgenia Pismennaya, Henry Meyer, Brad Cook – June 27, 2014) One month he wins the Olympics and kudos from world leaders. The next he grabs Crimea and gets kicked out of their most exclusive club. Now he’s facing a recession with few tools to fight it save the public’s love. Even

Corporate bondholders fret as oligarchs suffer under Ukraine crisis

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nick Kochan in London – June 20,2014) Ukraine’s security crisis is hitting bond investors in some of the country’s largest companies. A combination of the deteriorating economic situation, falling currency, increased Russian import duties on Ukrainian goods and rising gas prices has meant big local firms are struggling to

Russians Paying Up to Turn Rubles Into Homes: Mortgages

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Lyubov Pronina – June 4, 2014) Denis Ichetkin’s decision to get a mortgage for a one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Moscow in late January couldn’t have been better timed, he said. The 30-year-old journalist and his wife Veronika secured a 15-year loan from VTB Group with a 12 percent interest

Russia-China gas deal spells trouble for the dollar

China Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – INVISIBLE HAND – Liam Halligan in London, Editor-at-Large of BNE – May 28, 2014) The St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), now in its 18th year, was less well attended than usual. The absence of various US and Western Europe CEOs, responding to pressure from their governments following sanctions

Interfax: Visa, MasterCard to continue operating in Russia – Siluanov

File Photo of Stack of Credit Cards, adapted from image at fdic.gov

(Interfax – May 20, 2014) The payment systems Visa and MasterCard will continue operating in Russia, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Interfax on Tuesday. “We can’t abandon these systems since over 90 percent of those who use payment systems work with them,” he said. He did not say how the problem would be resolved with

Medvedev Orders Bank Chiefs to Reveal Personal Assets in Corruption Battle

VTB Bank Facade file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 13, 2014) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the heads of Russia’s two largest banks – state-owned Sberbank and VTB – to report their income, expenses and assets as part of an annual anti-corruption checkup. Sberbank’s German Gref, a former economic development minister, and VTB’s Andrei Kostin were among

Visa and MasterCard Cling to Russia Despite $3.8 Billion Blow

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Diana Kulchitskaya – May 7, 2014) Visa and MasterCard will hold fast to Russia despite a new law that forces them to pay over $3.8 billion as a security deposit to the Central Bank. Both international firms consider the measures taken as too severe and think that they will not

U.S. Drip of Sanctions Risks Putin Backlash

Portion U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Ilya Arkhipov and Kasia Klimasinska – April 29, 2014) The latest U.S. penalties against Vladimir Putin’s inner circle may provoke the Russian president into escalating the Ukraine crisis without crippling key sectors of his nation’s economy. The sanctions imposed by the Obama administration yesterday on seven officials and

Russian Billions Scattered Abroad Show Trail to Putin Circle

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik – April 28, 2014) Outside a Moscow stadium one night in 2006, deputy central bank chief Andrei Kozlov was walking to his car after playing soccer when two men opened fire, pumping bullets into his head and neck and killing his driver. Days before the murders, the

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

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

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Says Russian Financial System Reliable

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s financial sector is reliable and under control, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a meeting with finance officials Tuesday. “We are in a very uneasy situation indeed, that’s why we need to make some allowances … but they are not supposed to be fundamental. On the whole,

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

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

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

Soft war – when finance becomes continuation of politics by other means

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – PERSPECTIVE – Roland Nash of Verno Investment Research – March 27, 2014) As the conflict between Russia and the West for influence in Ukraine unfolded, finance has found itself in the unfortunate position of sitting squarely in the front line. From the acceptance by Viktor Yanukovych of a $15bn

Interfax: Russian rouble “the most sanction-proof currency” – Central Bank official

Russian Central Bank file photo

Moscow, 26 March: The rouble is a sanction-proof currency, the first deputy head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Kseniya Yudayeva, has said at a conference in the State Duma. “The rouble is the most sanction-proof currency,” she said without specifying the currencies compared to which the rouble is the most sanction-proof. “We

Ruble Strengthens on Finance Minister’s Comments

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov gave a boost to the ruble Tuesday by raising expectations the Russian currency would strengthen once the current foreign and domestic economic situations stabilize. The ruble strengthened by 46 kopecks (1.3 percent) against the dollar and by 76 kopecks (1.5 percent) against the euro

Kudrin on sanctions: Western banks already closing credit lines to Russian corporate sector

Alexei Kudrin file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. March 13 (Interfax) – Former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin is apprehensive about possible Western sanctions against Russia and said limitations in the banking sector have already begun. “I can say quite definitely: credit line limits for Russia are being closed,” said Kudrin, who is currently a member of the Presidential Economic Council.

Russia and Ukraine Have Bigger Problems Than Each Other

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Matthew C. Klein – March 3, 2014) Matthew C. Klein is a writer for Bloomberg View You may have missed it amid the ongoing drama in Ukraine, but Russia’s central bank raised its main interest rate today to 7 percent from 5.5 percent — the single biggest increase in Russian benchmark

Putin Adviser Urges Dumping US Bonds In Reaction to Sanctions

U.S. Treasury HH Series Savings Bond file photo

MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – An adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that authorities would issue general advice to dump US government bonds in the event of Russian companies and individuals being targeted by sanctions over events in Ukraine. Sergei Glazyev said the United States would be the first to suffer in

Russian ruble reaches 5-year low

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Kira Egorova, Anna Sorokina, RBTH – February 19, 2014) On Wednesday morning, the ruble slid to a five-year low against the dollar on trading in the Moscow Exchange. Experts have tried to reassure investors arguing, that the ruble will gain ground soon The Euro also reached an all-time

$2 Billion in Russian Aid Fails to Help Ukrainian Currency

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – February 18, 2014) Russia’s promise to release the next payment of a promised $15 billion loan to the government of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych failed to help the country’s hryvnia currency, which fell by up to 1.6 percent against the dollar on Tuesday. Monday’s announcement by Finance

Banks Scramble for Clients as Mortgage Lending Takes Off

sberbank

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 18, 2014) Mortgage lending is soaring as banks lower their rates, carrying with it both the benefits and potential drawbacks of a mortgage-greedy banking system. Until recently, Russian banks and consumers alike were skeptical of mortgages, and the rapidly escalating price of real estate did not

NEWSLINK: Russia holds rate, warns of rises if inflation accelerates

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

["Russia holds rate, warns of rises if inflation accelerates" - CentralBankNews.info -  February 14, 2014 - http://www.centralbanknews.info/2014/02/russia-holds-rate-warns-of-rises-if.html] CentralBankNews.info covers Russia’s Central Bank and its decision to maintain its key policy rate at 5.50 per cent.  The Central Bank cautions that it could raise rates if inflation exceeds the bank’s target, but asserts an expectation that

Russia moving away from rate control to manage declining ruble

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – January 28, 2014) The rapidly depreciating ruble recovered slightly on Tuesday, after recording a five-year low against the euro of 47.50 on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, the Central Bank indicated a rate of 47.37 against the euro, and 40.36 against the weighted currency basket of dollars and

Yanukovych’s “family business” links him to Russia

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – January 28, 2014) The pro-Russian leanings of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his associates have triggered a national crisis following November’s shocking decision to back out of signing a deal that would have brought the country closer to the EU. Yet the Kremlin’s hold over Yanukovych may not be

RIA Novosti: Two-Fifths of Russians Uncertain Over Need for Ukraine Loan

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – January 27, 2014) Around two-fifths of Russians have no idea why their government has committed to lending crisis-hit Ukraine $15 billion in taxpayer money, a survey has revealed. The loan announced in a surprise move late last year was designed to steer debt-strapped Ukraine through a potentially devastating looming balance of payments

RIA Novosti: Ruble Hits Historical Low Against Euro

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russia ruble hit a historical record low Friday, dropping to 47.32 rubles per euro at tomorrow settlement date on the Moscow stock exchange. The previous all-time low dates back to February 3, 2009, when the ruble stood at 47.25 rubles per euro. The dollar traded at 34.52 rubles

RIA Novosti: Russia Has Too Many Banks – Putin

VTB Bank Facade file photo

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that there are too many banks in Russia, Prime business news agency reported. “We have just under a thousand banks. That is, of course, a large quantity of financial institutions for our economy,” Putin said during a meeting with a group of Moscow students.

Ruble Expected to Stand its Ground, for Now

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 21, 2014) In a country like Russia, where a fair share of consumer goods come from abroad, the government’s efforts to move to a more flexible exchange rate for the domestic currency could rattle retailers and restaurants big time. Real estate brokers and others dealing in

Savers Should Dump Rubles and Buy Hard Currency, Economist Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 22, 2014) Russians should not keep their savings in rubles, as the currency is likely to depreciate, the head of the Banking Institute at the Higher School of Economics Vasily Solodkov said. “From now on, ruble exchange rate fluctuations against dollar and euro will be far more significant,” newspaper

Davos to Raise Awkward Questions

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 20, 2014) Russian delegates at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos could have to field uneasy questions about the country’s economic slowdown at a time when Western economies are regaining their confidence. Russia’s economic aid to Ukraine is also likely to surface during discussions at

State Boosts Grip on Economy With Bank Crackdown

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – December 26, 2013) For some bank depositors, the second half of 2013 has been a year to increase their intimacy with the state, whether they wanted to or not. Anyone with funds in the more than 30 small and medium-sized commercial banks that lost their licenses this

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

RIA Novosti: Top Russian Companies Pledge to Reduce Offshore Dependency

Cash, Calculator, Pen

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

Interfax: Fears for Russian banking sector stability “groundless” – Central Bank head

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 18, 2013) Russia’s banking sector has improved its financial indicators in 2013 and concerns over its stability are groundless, Elvira Nabiullina, chairwoman of the Central Bank of Russia, said on Wednesday [18 December] at a conference organized by the Association of Russian Banks. “Concerns over the stability of Russia’s banking sector

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’

Tough regulation challenges Russian banking business

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Kulikova, special to RBTH  - December 12, 2013) In early December Adam Smith Conferences held the 20th anniversary Russian Banking Forum in London aimed at looking at what the future holds for Russia’s banks. The timing of the Russian Banking Forum this year was perfect to have

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,”

Putin Stays Firm on Fulfilling Promises

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – December 6, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the government would have to improve the country’s economic performance in order to fulfill his campaign promises. He also complained that his tap water was sometimes brown from rusty pipes. Putin’s decrees from May last year, which seek

RIA Novosti: Russia Expects ‘Big Problems’ for Budget After 2016 – Finance Minister Siluanov

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, December 6 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s Finance Ministry predicted serious difficulties Friday for the budget in 2016 and 2017 as slowing economic growth means there will be insufficient funds available to honor spending commitments. Short term and long term growth forecasts for the Russian economy have been cut repeatedly this year, with officials warning

Investors fear recent bank closers

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Maksimova, special to RBTH – Deccember 5, 2013) The Russian Central Bank has revoked the license of several large banks as part of what it says is a fight against corruption and a shadow economy. Banking industry experts are worried that the Central Bank’s efforts to clean

Individual Debt to Hit $300 Billion by End of 2013

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 29, 2013) Russians will have racked up 10 trillion rubles ($300 billion) in debt by the end of this year, Vedomosti reported Friday, citing the Central Bank. Increasing consumer lending in Russia this year has created concern that the market may be overheating, with officials voicing concerns over possible

Interfax: Capital outflow from Russian equity funds continues unabated – analysts

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW. Nov 29 (Interfax) – The outflow of capital from funds focused on Russian equities continued for the fifth consecutive week and exceeded $130 million from November 21 through 27, about the same as a week earlier, Emerging Portfolio Fund Research (EPFR) reported. Exchange traded funds (ETF) focused on Russian equities lost $37 million from

US asset management giant pulls $100M from Russia

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(RIA Novosti – November 22, 2013) US asset management giant BlackRock pulled more than $100 million from its Russian investments over a seven-day period beginning last week, the Prime news agency reported Friday. The amount is about a third of the investment that BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, has in Russia, Prime said, citing

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