Tag Archives: Finance

NEWSLINK Forbes: Here’s How Much Russian Stock Values Have Eroded Since Sanctions

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

For Russia investors, timing was everything.  Those who bought on the bad news of last summer were hit with more bad news come the end of summer when the U.S. sanctioned Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil. Then the Russian Central Bank went into panic mode and raised interest rates to save the ruble. The market sensed that the bank was getting […]

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Strengthening of ruble due to growth of oil prices over – Yudayeva

Oil Wells File Photo

MOSCOW. April 22 (Interfax) – The strengthening of the ruble due to growth in prices for oil has ended, First Deputy Central Bank Governor Ksenia Yudayeva told journalists at the Forum for Financial Stability on Wednesday. “The strengthening of the ruble has ended, it has partially ended, what we saw was connected with the sharp movement upwards in prices for […]

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Russian Global Trade Plummets as Economic Crisis Deepens

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 21, 2015) Russia’s trade turnover with the outside world plunged 30.1 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2015 as oil price falls, currency devaluation and tit-for-tat sanctions shook the Russian economy. The value of Russia’s international trade fell to $83.3 billion over January and February, according to data published […]

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Ruble Rebound Slows Russia’s Rampant Food Price Inflation

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – April 21, 2015) The ruble’s rapid recovery in recent weeks has seen prices on some foods fall, easing months of spiraling inflation and softening one of the most widely felt blows of Russia’s economic crisis. All major retailers contacted by The Moscow Times last week said that the ruble’s rebound of some […]

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NEWSLINK CNBC: Why Russia is more confident: Finance Minister

Anton Siluanov file photo

Russia’s economy has been through a series of seismic shocks in the past year – but there are increasing reasons to be optimistic as the amount of money being pulled out of the country slows, according to the country’s Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov.

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Ukraine plays hard ball with private creditors

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – April 20, 2015) Ukraine is ready to play hard ball in its bid to restructure $15.3bn in foreign debt, was the signal sent by Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko to corporate bondholders in Washington on April 17. The government wants to secure a $40bn bailout package assembled with the International Monetary Fund […]

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Russia Economy Recovering as Oil Reliance Eases, Dvorkovich Says

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – David Tweed, Haslinda Amin – April 20, 2015) Russia’s economy showed signs of recovery in the first and second quarters amid a declining dependence on oil, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said. “Oil prices are not as important to the Russian economy as before,” Dvorkovich told Bloomberg TV Monday at the World Economic Forum on […]

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Weak Russian Economic Data Blunt Putin’s Optimism

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 20, 2015) The ruble slumped 4 percent and Moscow-listed stocks fell on Friday after official data showed that Russia’s economy contracted sharply in the first quarter of this year. The data, which showed a deep decline in real wages and consumer spending, came a day after President Vladimir Putin told Russians […]

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Moody’s: Russian inflation to peak at 17%-18% in Q2 2015, drop below 10% by mid-2016

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) – Moody’s Investors Service expects Russian inflation to peak at 17%-18% in the second quarter of 2015 and to drop below 10% by mid-2016 as the impact of the ruble’s depreciation fades, Moody’s said in a report on Russia’s banking sector in 2015. “Therefore Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is likely to loosen monetary policy on […]

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Eastern Ukraine returns to the ruble

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv, Mari Bastashevski in Donetsk – April 15, 2015) The Russian ruble is gaining ground against the hryvnia across rebel-held parts of East Ukraine’s Donbas region, 19 years after Kyiv introduced the national currency to end the country’s membership of the ruble zone. As Eastern Ukraine heads towards becoming a frozen […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Russia must review participation in international funds – finance minister

Anton Siluanov file photo

Russia must review its participation in international financial organisations because the country is paying too much in fees, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/15/russia-crisis-internationalfunds-idUSR4N0X602D20150415

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Putin’s Mideast Gains Trump $27 Billion Loss From Iran Agreement

Middle East Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Stephen Bierman – April 14, 2015) As Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he’s willing to take an economic hit to expand his political influence. He’s taking the same approach with Iran. Lifting sanctions and allowing Iranian oil onto global markets would threaten to deepen the plunge in crude […]

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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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NEWSLINK Forbes: Ukraine Debt Rating Now Super-Duper Junk

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

On Friday, Standard & Poor’s cut Ukraine’s long term foreign debt rating to CC from CCC-.  The rating of CC is one notch above C, which is used when a debtor is in the process of filing for bankruptcy protection. Standard & Poor’s kept Ukraine’s short-term foreign credit rating at C with a negative outlook. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/04/10/ukraine-debt-rating-now-super-duper-junk/

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Moscow Times: Ruble Hits New 2015 Highs in World’s Best Currency Rebound

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 8, 2015) The Russian currency strengthened rapidly Wednesday as a recent rally driven by greater confidence in the ruble and easing international tensions overpowered the downward pressure of a sliding oil price. The ruble jumped over 3 percent in morning trading to 53.4 against the U.S. dollar before weakening slightly to […]

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No artificial liquidity crunch – Nabiullina

File Photo of Elvira Nabiullina at OECD Event, at Podium and On Large Video Screen

MOSCOW. April 7 (Interfax) – There’s no artificial deliberate liquidity crunch in Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank, said. “There’s no artificial liquidity crunch,” she said. She said the ruble was strengthening due to the stabilization of oil prices, and end to peak foreign debt repayments and a high key rate. “Some people have described the ruble’s strengthening […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Greece Should Be Wary of Mr. Putin

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

The Greek government is facing a series of daunting challenges. It has to come up with money to pay off maturing debts, revive its devastated economy and renegotiate its loan agreements with other countries in the eurozone. Given those difficulties, it might be tempting — though misguided — for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek financial or other support from […]

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Russia takes over presidency of BRICS group

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews- April 3, 2015) Founding a $100bn currency reserve pool, launching the New Development Bank, and progress toward the peaceful settlement of world conflicts should be the hallmarks of Russia’s presidency of the BRICS grouping of emerging powers, the country’s leadership pledged after taking the helm on April 1. “The Russian presidency will […]

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Ruble whipsaws top forecasters as worst currency becomes best

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko – MOSCOW, April 6, 2015) For one of the toughest jobs in financial markets, try predicting the ruble. As Russia’s currency went from the world’s worst performer to the best in the first three months of this year, it caught out even the most accurate forecasters. Oil’s drop to near a six-year low and […]

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Russia improves – but don’t get too carried away yet

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – CONFERENCE CALL: Marcus Booth in London – April 1, 2015) Russia has experienced a “significant rally” in recent weeks, amid “wide acknowledgement” that the country has “significant financial cushions and liquidity buffers,” Andreas Kolbe of Barclays told attendees at the “EMTA Special Seminar “Russia/Ukraine: An Update” on March 26. At the panel session, hosted […]

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Moscow Times: Only 2% of Russians Concerned Over Ruble’s Collapse – Poll

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – April 1, 2016) Only 2 percent of Russians count the ruble’s collapse among the most important issues facing their country, according to a recent survey by state pollster VTsIOM. When asked the question “Which problems do you believe are the most important for the country as a whole?” 21 percent of respondents chose “the economy,” 17 percent […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times: Russia Has Ukraine’s Economy in a Choke Hold

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

[“Russia Has Ukraine’s Economy in a Choke Hold” – Moscow Times – Josh Cohen – Mar. 31, 2015] Writing in The Moscow Times, Josh Cohen considers Russia’s impact on Ukraine’s economy, including within the context of Russia’s impact on efforts to restructure Ukraine’s debt in connect with bailout financing. … to paraphrase Clausewitz, while the Minsk II cease-fire continues to hold in […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia

Eurasia Map

[“American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia” – AP – James Ellingsworth – Apr. 1, 2015] AP examines the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia, such as increased prices for some farmers, instability in international projects, and evolving energy relations between Russia and China. The impact of sanctions, and a Russian embargo, on agriculture is apparently mixed. Russia’s ‘counter-sanctions’ ban on food imports […]

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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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IMF ties itself into knots over status of Russia’s loan to Ukraine

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 27, 2015) A confusing argument has broken out over the crucial question of whether Ukraine’s $3bn worth of bonds held by Russia and due in December are “official” debt or not. The answer is important because if the bonds are “official” and Ukraine doesn’t pay them, the International […]

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NEWSWATCH AFP: Ruble gain brings hope to Russian economy

Cash, Calculator, Pen

[“Ruble gain brings hope to Russian economy” – AFP – March 30, 2015] AFP covers variations in the value of the ruble amidst Russia’s ongoing economic crisis. It has been a torrid time of late for the Russian economy, as the fallout from Ukraine and tumbling oil prices have plunged the country into financial crisis. However, an unexpected recent rebound by […]

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Sanctions and Regime Survival

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Mark Kramer, Director, Cold War Studies Program, and Senior Fellow, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University – March 11, 2015 – article also appeared at ponarseurasia.org/article/sanctions-and-regime-survival) Some debates never die; they just get replayed. After the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan in late December 1979, the United States imposed economic sanctions against the USSR. The Russian Federation since […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: A year into a conflict with Russia, are sanctions working?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

When it comes to inflicting economic pain on Russia, the Kremlin may be doing a better job than Western sanctions. Just don’t tell that to the Russian people, who overwhelmingly blame the West for a deepening recession that has parts of central Moscow starting to look like a ghost town. Prices are soaring. The ruble is dropping. And Russian living […]

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NEWSLINK TASS: Russia’s 200,000 employed senior citizens worry they may lose old age pension

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russian Labor and Social Protection Ministry’s idea of stripping employed senior citizens whose annual remuneration is one million roubles (about $16,500) or more of their old age security pension has sparked a debate in Russian society. In the context of Russia’s modern realities one million roubles is a sum enough to buy an average class car, […]

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Russian Government Struggles to Check Surging Cost of Medicine

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – March 27, 2015) The cost of medicine is rising fast in Russia, hitting consumers and challenging a government that has made its reputation as a bulwark of social stability. The ruble’s fall of nearly 40 percent to the U.S. dollar and 22 percent to the euro since the beginning of 2014 has sent […]

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The Central Banker Who Saved the Russian Economy From the Abyss

File Photo of Elvira Nabiullina at OECD Event, at Podium and On Large Video Screen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya and Ilya Arkhipov – March 25, 2015) It was Dec. 16 — the day Russian traders would later christen Black Tuesday — and the ruble was in a freefall. “Intervene! Intervene!” a central bank official shouted. Governor Elvira Nabiullina watched the currency on her tablet screen react to her emergency rate increase. No, she said, […]

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Ruble Panic Recedes as Russians Start Selling Dollars

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 26, 2015) Russians sold more foreign currency than they bought in January for the first time in two years, the Central Bank said Wednesday, in a sign that last year’s panic over the ruble has subsided. The Russian currency went into meltdown in December as a months-long devaluation prompted by Western sanctions and oil […]

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Effect of ruble strengthening nearly neutral for Russian budget – Nesterenko

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) – Ruble strengthening in excess of that assumed in the 2015 budget would lead to both lower revenue and lower spending, meaning that the net impact on the budget will be neutral, First Deputy Finance Minister Tatyana Nesterenko said. “The ruble exchange rate and the price of oil [assumed in the budget] are forecasts calculated as […]

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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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Russia Rebounds, Despite Sanctions

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Matthew A. Winkler – March 20, 2015) Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief emeritus of Bloomberg News, writes about markets. [Charts here bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-20/russia-rebounds-despite-sanctions] Sanctions meant to punish Russia for snatching Crimea from Ukraine one year ago were supposed to hurt Russian business. And they did. Russian stocks, bonds and commodities had the worst performance in 2014 of those in […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: U.S. faces meager options for further Russia energy sanctions

Oil Wells File Photo

[“U.S. faces meager options for further Russia energy sanctions” – Reuters – Timothy Gardner – March 23, 2015] Reuters examines Western sanctions on Russia, including some of the remaining options for energy-related sanctions. Energy is the economic lifeblood of Russia, which vies with the United States and Saudi Arabia to be the world’s top oil producer …the sector is the main target of […]

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Ukraine Bondholders’ Tough Talk Signals Debt Deal Won’t Be Easy

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Lyubov Pronina, Krystof Chamonikolas – March 17, 2015) The jockeying has begun in Ukraine’s debt restructuring talks. The government’s notes slid below 42 cents on the dollar on Tuesday as Russia said it wouldn’t budge on being paid back a $3 billion loan in full on time and the Financial Times reported Franklin Templeton won’t accept a […]

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NEWSLINK Reuters: Putin says no reason for confidence in economy, officials say worst over

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday it was still too soon to feel confident about the country’s economy, although his ministers said the worst is over. Speaking to a conference of Russian businessmen, Putin said the central bank’s main interest rate, now at 14 percent, remains high but that the level was warranted by the situation. …     […]

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NEWSLINK Moscow Times: Q&A: Drawing Foreign Firms to Russia [interview with Kaluga governor Anatoly Artamonov]

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The Kaluga region, an hour’s drive southwest of Moscow, has become a haven for investors. International giants in industries ranging from automotive to pharmaceutical have built plants, trained and employed thousands of locals, and turned a once-depressed region heavily dependent on federal subsidies into a donor to the national budget. …   http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/qa-drawing-foreign-firms-to-russia/517581.html

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The Russian banking system? Yeah, that’s going to be a problem

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Mark Adomanis in Philadelphia – March 16, 2015) The most basic part of any bank’s business model is the extension of loans to consumers and corporations. Clients need money, to expand their business, buy a home, or, in a less sunny scenario, to re-finance existing borrowing, and the bank gives it to them while […]

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Six steps to return Russia to economic growth. The Russian economy is under pressure: it’s time for an alternative.

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(opendemocracy.net – Kirill Rodionov – March 9, 2015) Kirill Rodionov is an independent journalist. From 2008 to 2013, he was a Research Fellow at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, Moscow. Follow him on Twitter: @k_rodionov In late January 2015, the Russian government adopted an anti-crisis programme. The plan includes a number of measures intended to provide sustainable development of […]

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NEWSLINK: Federal Judge Orders Browder to Comply with Subpoena in Money-Laundering Case

U.S. Courthouse for Southern District of New York in Manhattan

Wall Street Journal: A Manhattan federal judge has ordered London-based hedge fund manager William Browder to comply with a subpoena that could force him to reveal the sources of information he gave to federal prosecutors in a high-profile money-laundering case. …

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Ukraine Left Behind as Russian Stock Gains Are Unmatched

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Popina – February 26, 2015) Russia is emerging as the world’s best stock market after putting in the worst performance last year. For neighboring Ukraine, the second-biggest loser in 2014, there’s no sign of such a turnaround yet. Russia’s dollar-denominated RTS Index has soared 15 percent in 2015, while the Ukrainian Equities Index is last […]

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Over 70% of Russians feel economic crisis effects – poll

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – February 24, 2015) The share of Russians acknowledging the ongoing economic crisis has grown to 71 percent, from 62 percent in January, the Public Opinion Foundation said. Some 14 percent of 1,500 respondents polled in 100 populated localities in 43 regions on February 14-15 claim they do not see any signs of a crisis (down from 20 percent […]

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Russia Dumps $22 Billion in U.S. Bonds to Slow Economy’s Slide

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 20, 2015) Moscow sold a total of $45 billion of U.S. treasury bonds in 2014 as relations with Western governments reached a post-Soviet nadir over the Ukraine crisis. Russia jettisoned $22 billion worth of U.S. treasury bonds in December as the Kremlin scrambled for cash to battle a plunging ruble and […]

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Novak: inability to borrow worse than low oil prices

oil-well-250-blm

MOSCOW. Feb 16 (Interfax) – The lack of lending sources is having a worse effect on the Russian oil industry than the low price of oil, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Interfax. “The main issue is the lack of lending resources, sources of financing, not the price of oil. Accordingly, due to the lack of financing, […]

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Would a Ukraine Peace Deal in Minsk Save the Russian Economy?

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – February 12, 2015) U.S. President Barack Obama has claimed the Kremlin’s role in the Ukraine crisis brought the Russian economy to its knees. So, if a peace accord is reached in Minsk on Wednesday will it reboot the Russian economy? Hopes are high that a gathering of Russian, French, German and Ukrainian […]

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