Ukraine Bond Rout Worsens on Bets Political Tussle to Block Aid

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff – February 8, 2016) Ukrainian bonds slid, sending the yield on the nation’s shortest-dated restructured debt above 11 percent for the first time, as a political shakeup raised the likelihood for further delays to an international bailout that’s keeping the country afloat. The $1.15 billion of bonds maturing in September 2019 dropped 2.22 cents […]

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Investment in oil and gas exploration may drop 10-15% in 2016

Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – February 7, 2016) Investment in geological exploration for oil and gas in Russia may reduce 10-15% in 2016, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergei Donskoy said in a program aired by the NTV television channel. “Investment in hydrocarbon [exploration] will reduce somewhere between 10% and 15%, somewhere between these two digits,” he said. The minister said that […]

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Ukrainian Bonds Plummet as Government Unity Efforts Stumble

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Natasha Doff, Daryna Krasnolutska – February 5, 2016) Ukrainian government bonds plunged as efforts faltered to shore up the ruling coalition after a key reformer quit and accused presidential party members of corruption. Notes issued in November after a $15 billion restructuring are poised for their worst week in the wake of comments from the parliament […]

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Kremlin: Privatization of Russian companies open for foreign investors

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – February 2, 2016) Privatization of Russian companies is open for foreign investors, and Russia is interested in attracting new foreign partners, the Kremlin has said. “Russia has always been interested in foreign investors; we value cooperation with those who continue to operate on the Russian market and we are interested in an inflow of fresh investments,” Kremlin press […]

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Russia’s Great Shift Downward; Putin has shown little interest in changing the economic model.

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Carol Matlack – January 28, 2016) For Russia’s battered economy, 2016 already looks miserable. The ruble has slumped to record lows as oil prices have fallen 11 percent since Jan. 1, to around $30 a barrel. The government, which gets nearly half its revenue from oil and gas, is scrambling to plug a 1.5 trillion-ruble ($19.2 […]

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Sweden delivers judgment in favor of Russia in dispute with Yukos holders

Map of Sweden and Environs

(Interfax – January 28, 2016) A Swedish appeals court upheld Russia’s appeal filed earlier in its dispute with the Spanish investment funds, which were holders of American Depositary Receipts (‘ADRs’) of Yukos, Kommersant newspaper reported on Jan. 28. The appeals court acknowledged the fact that the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce that sustained the funds’ claims to […]

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RBTH: Investors could benefit from Russia’s economic turmoil

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

As the Russian economy hits hard times, with business incomes falling, government spending facing cuts and the ruble losing value, RBTH spoke to Sergei Katyrin, president of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to find out how foreign companies are enduring the current “perfect storm” for business. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ILYA KROL, RBTH – January 28, […]

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NEWSLINK Russia Direct: “Doing business in Russia: High risk, but also high reward. New Report “The Magnetic Push and Pull of the Russian Economy: What’s Next for Investors in Russia?” examines how the Russian economy has changed over the past year and what new opportunities have emerged there for foreign investors.”

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Putin urges government to be ready for any economic scenario

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – January 13, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the government to closely monitor changes in the economic situation and be ready for any turn. “We should be ready for any scenario,” he said at a meeting with Cabinet members. The president drew attention to how the situation changes on the markets. “I know that the government has […]

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Putin’s Power Failure: He’s had Time and Resources to Transform Russia but has Failed to Do So, Inozemtsev Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 12, 2016) Vladimir Putin has had the time and resources “to transform Russia if not into the next China then into a new Emirates by laying the foundations for economic growth over several decades,” Vladislav Inozemtsev says. But he didn’t do so and as a result, these years for Russia were […]

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Popular Decisions, Unpopular Outcomes

Vladimir Putin

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov – January 11, 2016) Maxim Trudolyubov is a Senior Fellow at the Kennan Institute and the Editor-at-Large of Vedomosti, an independent Russian daily. Mr. Trudolyubov was the editorial page editor of Vedomosti between 2003 and 2015. He has been a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times since the fall of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] First Russian Internet Economy Forum

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Kremlin.ru – December 22, 2015) Vladimir Putin attended the First Russian Internet Economy Forum. The First Russian Internet Economy Forum is taking place in Moscow on December 21-22. The plenary session, attended by representatives of the national IT industry and relevant ministries and agencies, is dedicated to initiatives for the long-term development programme of the Russian Internet segment and branches […]

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Magnitsky’s mother asks Chaika to confirm publicized facts concerning her son

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Interfax – December 22, 2015) The mother of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died at a Moscow jail in 2009, has asked the Russian Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika, to provide evidence for the claims he made in a letter to the Kommersant daily regarding her son and the activity of the fund’s head, William Browder. “The information you disseminated […]

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Russia still interested in attracting foreign investors despite economic, political problems – PM

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

MOSCOW. Dec 11 (Interfax) – Russia is still interested in attracting foreign investors despite the economic and political problems, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, opening a meeting of the governmental commission on the control of foreign investments in Russia. “Despite certain internal economic difficulties, foreign political problems, the exacerbation of the international situation, it is obvious that Russia is still […]

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NEWSWATCH Moscow Times/Sergei Alexashenko: “Russia’s Economy Slows Amid Investment Woes”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Writing in The Moscow Times, Sergei Alexashenko assesses trends in the Russian economy and some of the factors impacting them. Russia’s economy is faring poorly …. Gross domestic product has swung back to a level last seen in the first of 2008 and the economy has essentially stagnated over the last seven years. * * * The situation in Russia is not […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Medvedev on] The implementation of roadmaps for the national entrepreneurial initiative

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – December 1, 2015) Conference on the implementation of roadmaps for the national entrepreneurial initiative From Dmitry Medvedev’s opening remarks: The national entrepreneurial initiative has become a fundamentally new programme to improve the business climate in the country. This year will see the main stage of this paramount national project come to completion. The programme’s reforms were shaped by […]

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Interfax: Minister sees Moody’s upgrading Russia rating outlook as recognition of effective policy

Anton Siluanov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Moody’s Investors Service’s decision to upgrade the rating outlook for Russian government bonds to stable from negative is an acknowledgement of the effectiveness of the Russian authorities’ fiscal and monetary policies, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters. “The upgrade of the outlook, made for the first time in a fairly long time, indicates recognition of […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: “Russian Corporate Bonds’ Unlikely Winning Ways. They are the best performing in the emerging markets in 2015, Citigroup says.”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The Wall Street Journal reports on the performance of Russian corporate bonds. From adversity comes opportunity. But given the degree of adversity facing Russia at the end of 2014—sanctions over Ukraine, plummeting oil prices, a collapsing currency—it is surprising quite how much of an investment opportunity it has turned out to be this year. Russian corporate bonds are the best […]

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Why the Doing Business ranking is so important for Russia; The World Bank report is seen as a key indicator for reforming the business environment

World Bank Building

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan- November 20, 2015) Alexei Lossan is the RBTH Central Desk editor for business In November 2015, the World Bank released its annual Doing Business ranking, in which Russia managed to rise to 51st place. For the Russian economy, this ranking has a particular significance because the government has selected it as […]

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Russia Sees Biggest Decline in Wages, Retail Sales Since 1999

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – November 19, 2015) Russian wages and retail sales declined by the most since 1999, a sign consumer demand will remain a weak link in the economy’s efforts to break out of its first recession in six years. Real wages fell 10.9 percent in October from a year earlier, a deeper contraction than the […]

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Half of Russia’s Richest People Are Planning to Cash Out

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Alexander Sazonov – November 13, 2015) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-13/putin-s-gilded-cage-russia-s-rich-are-facing-cash-out-conundrum] It’s been a quarter century since the fall of the Soviet empire triggered one of history’s greatest wealth transfers. Now bankers are preparing for another as Russia’s first generation of capitalists makes way for the next. Confidential surveys of dozens of millionaires and billionaires conducted since European […]

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Most of investments into Russia in past year come from Asian market – Putin

Eurasia Map

(Interfax – November 13, 2015) Around 90 percent of the investments made into Russia in the past year are the resources of the Asian market, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Interfax and Anadolu news agencies on Friday ahead of the G20 summit in Antalya. “Obviously, cooperation with Asian partners in attracting funds gains special relevance […]

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European Union Prohibits Studies of Sanctioned Russian Banks

EU Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 23, 2015) The European Union has prohibited its financial institutions from publishing analytical research of the Russian banks under EU sanctions, the European Commission said in a statement. The European Commission, the EU’s legislative body, prohibited publishing research on Russian banks because the analysis contained in the reports could help investors in Russia make […]

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The ABR (Anywhere But Russia) crew of fund veterans now punting in Pakistan, Iraq and Iran

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Jason Corcoran in Moscow – October 21, 2015) Dedicated-Russia funds have become a rare species in the years following the 2008-2009 economic crisis. The country’s subsequent low growth, its current recession along with tumbling commodity prices and political isolation over Ukraine have almost led to their extinction. But what has become of these fund […]

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Multinationals pessimistic on Russian market

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – October 19, 2015) Large investors are pessimistic about the outlook for the Russian market, according to a report by Global Counsel, which shows that some are reducing their exposure. Although some groups are holding their options open, and some are even seizing counter-cyclical opportunities, unless the business environment improves more groups […]

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Foreign Investors Complain About Russia’s Unpredictable Laws

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 20, 2015) Unpredictable lawmaking is undermining Russia’s ability to attract foreign investors, the Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) – a group of the biggest foreign companies working in Russia – told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday. A report by financial services group and FIAC member EY (Ernst & Young) into […]

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Foreign Investment in Russian Commercial Property Hits 7-Year High

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – October 19, 2015) Foreign investment in Russian commercial property has hit a seven-year high as the weak ruble has made the market more attractive for international companies, the RBC newspaper reported Friday, citing a recent market study. Foreign capital accounted for 42 percent of investment in the commercial real estate market in […]

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Standard & Poor’s Lowers Russian Growth Forecast

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 16, 2015) Standard & Poor’s has cut its growth forecast for Russia, predicting that lower and more volatile oil prices will make it harder for the country to emerge from recession. The ratings agency said Thursday that the Russian economy would contract by 3.6 percent this year and grow by only […]

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Innovators bring the startup revolution to Russia, but business development lags behind

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

Russian hi-tech startups are growing rapidly in number, but to implement their inventions a revolution in the big business sector is also needed. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Victoria Zavyalova, RBTH – October 14, 2015) Russia is pursuing its innovation dream. Over the past eight years, 12 new science parks housing 775 startups were established in the country. […]

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BNE: Investors warm to a lukewarm Russia

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – October 15, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/investors-warm-lukewarm-russia] The political rhetoric between the Kremlin and the West remains fraught since the start of the Russian bombing campaign in Syria, but investors have started to warm to Russia as an investment destination; Russian bonds are the best performing in the world year […]

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$50 Oil for 15 Years Isn’t What Scares Bank of Russia Governor

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya, Anna Andrianova, Ryan Chilcote – October 14, 2015) Fifteen years of oil at $50 a barrel isn’t the worst nightmare for Russian central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina. “What worries me more is the pace of reforms in the economy that could stimulate private investment,” Nabiullina, 51, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Tuesday. […]

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Foreign media companies leaving Russia as new ownership law looms

satellite-dish-big-disa-mil

With a new law limiting foreign ownership of media in Russia to 20 percent due to come into force on Jan. 1, 2016, many international companies are already leaving the market due to loss of revenue (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Karnaukh, special to RBTH – October 13, 2015) With less than half a year left until […]

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Putin looks back to West as China swing chokes

Eurasia Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Jason Corcoran in Moscow – October 14, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin is abandoning his much-vaunted pivot to Asian sources of finance, judging by the prominence given to Anglo-American investors during his question & answer session at the VTB Capital conference in Moscow on October 13. A year ago, Western investors were largely absent […]

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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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RBTH: Sochi forum: Sanctions curbing foreign investment in innovation in Russia

Skolkovo File Photo

Participants of the recent International Investment Forum in Sochi say that U.S. and EU sanctions on Russia are impeding international investment in innovative start-ups, with foreign companies not aware of what they can do under the new conditions. Meanwhile, according to Russian observers, several new innovative clusters may be created in Russia, including in Sochi. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – […]

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Foreign investors may get access to major deposits in Russia

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

If a foreign company in Russia repeats the recent success of Italian energy company in Egypt and discovers a strategic deposit on Russian territory, it will be able to develop that deposit. Experts expect the relevant amendments to the Russian legislation to attract investment in exploration. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Kuchma, RBTH – September 1, 2015) […]

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‘Black Monday’ inflicts further damage on Russian markets

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

Amid turmoil on global financial markets, the Russian ruble fell to a historic low against the U.S. dollar on Aug. 24, while the key stock market index, the RTS, dropped 6 percent. Russian analysts say that there is little room for optimism while oil prices remain low. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan – August 25, 2015) […]

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Russia continues to increase investments in U.S. Treasuries

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

(Interfax – August 18, 2015) Russia increased its investments in U.S. Treasury bonds in June by $1.4 billion, just as it did in May, according to data from the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve System, published on Aug. 18. At the end of June, the volume of Russian-owned U.S. Treasury bonds stood at $72 billion. Russia is currently 19th […]

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U.S.-Russian Paper Startup Sees Massive Success Despite Political Tensions

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – August 18, 2015) One of the largest office supply retailers in the United States has offered a group of young Russian and American entrepreneurs an exclusive distribution deal for a new sticky note developed by the team after raising almost $250,000 on crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Founded in January by two Russian cousins […]

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Eight Facts to Celebrate 100 Starbucks in Russia

Starbucks Counter with U.S. Ambassador and Crew

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ilaria Parogni – August 12, 2015) American coffeehouse chain Starbucks Coffee celebrated the opening of his 100th Russian branch in Tuesday. The new venue is located inside the shopping center Galereya in St. Petersburg, the company announced on social media. Starbucks is currently holding celebrations at the new location and at the company’s flagship store […]

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Classes Aimed at Raising a New Generation of Russian Businessmen

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexandra Tyan – July 28, 2015) The newly renovated VDNKh park in northern Moscow is investing in the future with the Young Investor School, which will open at Pavilion 14 early next month. Starting on Aug. 6, every Thursday and Friday, children between the ages of 8-14 can learn about the career of investment banking […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal/Stephen Hadley, Robert Zoellick: Crucial Weapons in the Defense of Ukraine. Without debt reduction and more aid, a young democracy could vanish.

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Hadley and Robert Zoellick address the issue of Western assistance for Ukraine amidst the Russo-Ukrainian War, including financial and debt-related assistance. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is an assault on the vision that emerged from the end of the Cold War of a Europe whole, free and at peace. For that vision to be realized, the […]

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NEWSLINK Australian Financial Review: How Russia proved to be the best BRICS bet in 2015

St. Basil's Domes

Russia’s surge in fortunes presents a contrast with the events of December, when stocks tumbled almost 9 percent and the ruble sank to a record, prompting the central bank to raise interest rates to the highest in more than a decade. That marked the peak of turmoil that had begun with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March and crude oil’s […]

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