RUSSIALINK: “Russian Banks More Stable and Transparent Than Ever, Central Bank Chief Says; Six years and $80 billion into a mammoth clean-up drive, Elvira Nabiullina hails the strength of Russia’s financial sector” – Moscow Times

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – November 8, 2019) The Russian financial sector is “more stable and more transparent than ever before,” according to the governor of Russia’s Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina. The country’s banks are finally becoming an attractive option for investors, and the sector is now a “partner for real companies and the real economy,” Nabiullina […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Relentless rise of consumer debt in Russia fuels bubble fears for some” – Reuters/ Darya Korsunskaya, Elena Fabrichnaya, Tatiana Voronova

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

“… After five years of shrinking real incomes, many Russians are borrowing to make ends meet or even just to pay off their creditors – and the issue is climbing up the political agenda. … Some 2.5 million people earning up to 20,000 roubles ($303.09) a month … less than half the average wage, spend more than half of that […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Cuts Interest Rate Again Amid Global Push for Looser Policy” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s central bank lowers its main rate to 7.25%” “… With signs mounting that the world economy is slowing, the [Federal Reserve] is widely expected to lower interest rates for the first time in over a decade …. The European Central Bank signaled … it is preparing to cut short-term interest rates for the first time since early 2016 …. […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “The evictors For the past five years, loan sharks have forced more than 500 Muscovites from their homes. Here’s how the industry works.” – Meduza

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

“In Moscow and [environs] … ‘black creditors’ – microfinance institutions (MFOs) … deceive [debtors] and seize … homes. Meduza … [found ] almost 500 apartments lost … over the past five years without so much as a court order. … more than simply ‘squeezing’ people from their homes … possibly part of a wider, international money-laundering system. * * * […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Review: The Struggle of Russia’s crony capitalists” [re: Anders Aslund new book]” – Reuters/ Dasha Afanasieva

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Anders Aslund … in ‘Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy‘ … [casts Putin] as a patriarchal overlord … handsomely reward[ing] those loyal …. creat[ing] a new elite of friends, former co-workers and relatives. What’s less clear is what, if anything [can be done about it]. … [A]naly[zing] the last 15 or so years of Putin’s […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Michael Calvey Case Revisited: A Corporate Hit, a Bargaining Chip” – Kennan Institute/ Pavel Koshkin

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Pavel Koshkin – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/michael-calvey-case-revisited-corporate-hit-bargaining-chip) Pavel Koshkin is a research fellow of the Institute of U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN) and a contributor to Forbes Russia The American investor Michael Calvey, who was detained in February in Moscow on fraud charges, is back in the news again. Calvey, who has […]

» Read more

Russia’s National Projects: Economic Reboot or Mucky Bog?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Ben Aris – May 30, 2019) Ben Aris is editor in chief of bne Intellinews. He has been covering Russia as a journalist since 1993. While Moscow has been aggressively advancing its interests on the international stage, Russia’s stagnating economy means the country risks gradually falling behind the rest of the world and possibly facing […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Banking on Politics: How Russia’s Banking Sector Clean-Up Affects Regime Stability” – PONARS Eurasia/ David Szakonyi

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

“Banking has increasingly become nationalized in Russia, raising concerns that all private banks may be forced from the market within 10 or 15 years. In the short run, this consolidation enables the government to continue funding its numerous and expensive commitments and thereby maintain social and political stability. David Szakonyi discusses the political consequences of this creeping nationalization of the […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK: “Sanctions against Russian state banks likely to be more of a deterrent measure- Kudrin” – Interfax

Alexei Kudrin file photo

WASHINGTON. April 14 (Interfax) – If the currently discussed U.S. legislation on new anti-Russian sanctions is enacted, its implementation is going to be either delayed or unlikely to affect those banks whose problems could actually change the general economic situation in Russia, Accounts Chamber head Alexei Kudrin said. “I suppose that the framework provisions are going to be adopted, but […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia backs global use of its alternative SWIFT system” – Reuters

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed the international use of a Russian alternative system for the global financial messaging network SWIFT designed by Moscow to eliminate the risk of Western sanctions. Russia has held talks with China, India, Iran and Turkey about joint use of Russia’s financial messaging system …. Russia started developing an alternative to the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging […]

» Read more

JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top American investor detained in Moscow” – BMB Russia/ Bear Market Brief

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Michael Calvey … was detained in Moscow … on charges of fraud. … Since founding Baring Vostok in 1994, Calvey has been one of the preeminent foreign investors in Russia. … [T]he fraud allegations may be fallout from an ownership dispute over Vostochny Bank …. a blow to Russia’s already cold investment climate. … one journalist noted, the Kremlin must […]

» Read more

RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Russia Calling! Investment Forum (excerpt/with Q&A)” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – November 28, 2018) [Full text en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59216] Vladimir Putin took part in the annual Russia Calling! Investment Forum hosted by VTB Capital. The plenary session is entitled “Building Partnerships. Bridging Differences.” Russia Calling! Forum is a leading platform for drawing capital to the Russian economy, improving the investment climate and promoting the country’s international economic and business ties. President […]

» Read more

Introduction of Personal Credit Scores in Russia Seen Helping Banks and Consumers

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 28, 2018) In the first quarter of 2018, Russian banks turned down 48 percent of applicants for loans and charged those who did get them higher rates than they otherwise might because the banks had no good way to ensure that they were only offering loans to those who would repay […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Londongrad oligarchs are being forced back to Russia’s embrace; As sanctions bite, tycoons feel hemmed in by Vladimir Putin’s power” – Financial Times/Max Seddon

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

“…. once ideal go-betweens between Russia and the west. … [s]uddenly, oligarchs are too Russian for a west eager to clean up its act and too western for a Russia hunting for ‘enemies of the people.’ … the nature of oligarchy … has changed dramatically …. Putin shifted the power dynamic …. under an unwritten rule: they were allowed to […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Sanctions Would Be ‘Economic War’ to Head of Russia’s VTB; Personal sanctions would be preferable to institutional ones, Kostin says” – Bloomberg/Jake Rudnitsky, Francine Lacqua

VTB Bank File Photo

“As Moscow braces for a possible expansion of U.S. sanctions, the head of Russia’s second-biggest bank said any further restrictions on the nation’s lenders would be tantamount to ‘economic war.’  * * * While VTB has been subject to restrictions on raising financing since 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, new sanctions could go as far as cutting off […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “I’m ‘sick and tired’ of how U.S. views Russia, says CEO of Russia’s second-largest bank” –  CNBC/ Silvia Amaro

VTB Bank File Photo

“… The tense issue of Russian meddling in the election has dragged on. Putin warned last week that U.S. media companies could be restricted when operating in Russia after calls from American lawmakers to limit Russian outlets, namely RT and Sputnik, for their involvement in the 2016 presidential election. … Click here for: “I’m ‘sick and tired’ of how U.S. […]

» Read more

NEWSLINK: “Russia’s CBR gets tough on banks, demands they reveal owners’ identities” – bne Intellinews

Central Bank of Russia file photo

“The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) will demand that all of Russia’s banks fully disclose the identities of their owners from the start of 2018, Kommersant daily reported on September 11 citing the draft order prepared by the regulator. …”

» Read more

Business community expects economic reforms in Russia after presidential vote – Gref

Sberbank File Photo

MOSCOW. Sept 7 (Interfax) – The business community expects that Russia may begin extensive economic reforms after next year’s presidential elections and the preparatory stage is now underway, Sberbank of Russia (MOEX: SBER) CEO Herman Gref said in an interview on NTV television. “The expectations of business and, in general, the entire country is that such an extensive reform process, […]

» Read more

Lame-Duck Putinism

Putin at Desk

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org Brian Whitmore – September 1, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/lame-duck-putinism/28709290.html) An association of “patriotic entrepreneurs” is proposing that the Russian central bank issue a new 10,000 ruble banknote featuring Vladimir Putin’s likeness. Now you can read that a couple ways. The simplest, of course, is that it’s nothing more than […]

» Read more

Russia Offers Emergency Bank Aid to Prevent Otkritie Contagion

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky, Anna Baraulina – August 30, 2017) Russia’s central bank moved to contain a slow-motion banking crisis, offering support to other lenders after announcing the takeover of the largest institution yet. Bank Otkritie FC, Russia’s biggest private lender a month ago, is the first bank to be taken over by a fund created so that […]

» Read more

Big Data Convert Channels Big Brother to Take Russia’s Pulse

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – August 22, 2017) Raw numbers no longer cut it for Russia’s central bank in its effort to keep up with the economy. Instead, the man running its research and forecasting wants to know how Russians really feel by mining “big data,” gathered from social media and online stores. The Bank of Russia has […]

» Read more

Putin Nominates Bank of Russia Head Nabiullina for New Term

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Stepan Kravchenko – March 22, 2017) Russian President Vladimir #Putin told Bank of #Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina he plans to nominate her for a new 5-year term, praising her stewardship of the central bank as the country emerges from the longest recession this century. “The central bank under your leadership has done a #great […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Russia pushes to rid itself of ‘Potemkin’ banks by 2019” – Reuters/Alexander Winning, Andrey Ostroukh

“Russia plans to extend a review of bank licenses for another two years, shutting down scores more banks after closing hundreds in the past four years, mostly for committing fraud or other crimes …. Vasily Pozdyshev, a deputy governor at Russia’s central bank, says … his team is still finding more propping up criminal activity and would need until 2019 …. […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with CEO of Sberbank German Gref

File Photo of German Gref Shaking Hands with U.S. Official

(Kremlin.ru – February 23, 2017) Sberbank CEO and Chairman of the Board German Gref briefed Vladimir Putin on the bank’s 2016 performance results and its current activities, including the prospects for developing mortgage lending, and new financial support mechanisms for the defence industry and agricultural sector businesses. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Gref, concerning the bank’s performance, we know […]

» Read more

Russian Central Bank Chief Nabiullina Named European Banker of the Year

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 4, 2017) The British finance journal The Banker has named Russian Central Bank Head Elvira Nabiullina as the European Central Bank Chairman of the year. The journal highlighted Nabiullina’s success in controlling Russia’s inflation rate. “The efforts of the Central Bank head has led to the fact that the rate of inflation by the […]

» Read more

Russian Banking System Safe From Cyber-Threats — Central Bank Head

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – December 28, 2016) Russian Central Bank Head Elvira Nabiullina said that Russia’s banking system is protected against cyber-threats in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television channel. “I should say that our banking system currently has an adequate level of protection against cyber threats,” she said. Nabiullina also said the Central Bank has created a […]

» Read more

Russia’s Central Bank Wants You to Believe; Governor Elvira Nabiullina has introduced her own version of forward guidance. The results are mixed.

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – November 29, 2016) [Charts here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-29/russia-s-central-bank-wants-you-to-believe] When central bankers start making predictions about what they’re going to do in the future, reality often has other plans. Just ask Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, or Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Recent attempts at so-called “forward guidance” — telling the public how interest rates […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Conference Into the Future: Russia’s Role and Place

Sberbank File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – November 10, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the international conference Into the Future: Russia’s Role and Place, organised by Russia’s oldest bank, Sberbank, to mark its 175th anniversary. The conference focused on forecasting and analysing future technology trends, discussing the main outlines for technological development, and examining the potential benefits and risks their mass use could bring. […]

» Read more

Russia Hones Bank Oversight in Biggest Shakeup Since Crisis

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas October 4, 2016) Russia’s central bank sidelined the officials who headed its unprecedented cull of lenders, rearranging its leadership in the biggest shakeup since a currency crisis last year. Dmitry Tulin, the first deputy governor in charge of monetary policy, will replace Alexei Simanovsky and take over banking regulation and supervision starting Oct. 17, […]

» Read more

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with CEO of Sberbank German Gref

Sberbank File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – August 4, 2016) Vladimir Putin had a working meeting with Sberbank CEO and Chairman of the Board German Gref to discuss the bank’s results for the last year, the situation on the housing mortgage market, and financial support measures for small businesses. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Gref, I know that the bank’s work has been not […]

» Read more

Hybrid Business — The Risks In The Kremlin’s Weaponization Of The Economy

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Commentary: Mark Galeotti, Anna Arutunyan – July 20, 2016) Mark Galeotti is a senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague and director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence. Anna Arutunyan is a Moscow-based journalist and writer, author of The Putin Mystique. “How many divisions does the pope have?” Josef Stalin was meant to have […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Most Important Bank Needs a Bailout. VEB faces task of paying off about $20 billion in foreign-currency debt.” – Wall Street Journal

Cash, Calculator, Pen

When the Russian government needed to build up infrastructure in … Sochi ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, it turned to Russia’s most important lender: Vnesheconombank, the country’s state-owned development bank. … eventually holding the equivalent of at least $2.9 billion in overdue loans. … the bill is coming due. VEB for years kept its books in balance by […]

» Read more

Banks Too Big to Sanction as War Wrecks Russia’s Ukraine Ties

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Volodymyr Verbyany, Jake Rudnitsky – November 30, 2015) Your enemy’s bank is your friend. Or so Ukraine wants to believe after giving Russian banks a pass more than a year and a half into a separatist insurgency it blames on the Kremlin. Banks including state-run lenders sanctioned by the U.S. and the European Union have clung […]

» Read more

Putin’s Fortress Russia Takes Its Toll

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 5, 2015) It’s difficult to quantify the damage Western economic sanctions have done to Russia. The country’s slump is almost exclusively due to a drop in oil prices, which has led to a sharp currency devaluation and a jump in interest rates. Yet the sanctions have fueled the Kremlin’s paranoia, lending Russia’s […]

» Read more

Moscow creates vast new bank from Post Office

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Russia’s postal service joined forces with VTB Bank to establish Post Bank, a new retail lender with three times as many retail branches as the current leader, Sberbank. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Kira Egorova – November 4, 2015) Russia’s government approved the establishment of a massive new bank based on the country’s postal service, a move that […]

» Read more

Hard to call Russian banking system healthy – Sberbank exec

Sberbank File Photo

MOSCOW. Oct 28 (Interfax) – It is currently difficult to call the Russian banking system healthy, Sberbank (MOEX: SBER) deputy CEO Bella Zlatkis believes. “If two or three banking institutions in the country close per week, if this number increases by tens in a year, if a whole number of banking institutions are having problems with capital and liquidity, I […]

» Read more

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 […]

» Read more

Russia’s banking pain is forcing long-overdue sector consolidation

Central Bank of Russia file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – September 24, 2015) Russian banks are in a world of pain. Real incomes are falling for the first time since President Vladimir Putin has been on the job, and sanctions have cut banks off from their main source of long-term cheap financing. The upshot is that Russia’s financial sector […]

» Read more

Deutsche Bank confirms its retreat from Russia

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Jason Corcoran in Moscow – September 18, 2015) Deutsche Bank, a lender whose ties with Russia span 134 years, will exit its investment banking business in Moscow by the end of year following allegations its bankers laundered money on behalf of its clients, it was confirmed on September 18. The German bank’s corporate finance […]

» Read more

Ulyukayev not expecting ‘major shocks’ from potential rate hike in U.S

Alexei Ulyukayev file photo

SOCHI. Sept 16 (Interfax) – Because financial markets have largely priced in the effect of a potential rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev does not expect any major shocks if the U.S. Fed does approve a rate hike. “It seems to me that for the most part the markets have included the rate hike […]

» Read more

Interfax: Main indicators of Russian banking system point to its stability – Nabiullina

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 10 (Interfax) – The main figures from Russia’s banking system show that it is stable and in a safe zone, Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The situation in the banking sphere is a lot like a mirror of what is happening in the economy. Of course, outside factors can […]

» Read more

NEWSWATCH BBC: Russian debtors despair as boom turns to bust

Cash, Calculator, Pen

The BBC covers the Russian economic crisis and the plight of Russians who took on debt during boom times only to face misery and potential disaster now. Millions of Russians took out loans during the economic boom years, but now they face crippling debts and the law is not on their side …. * * * … the Russian United Credit Bureau […]

» Read more

Russia’s state banks are rotten

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 29, 2015) Banks epitomise capitalism, but not in Russia. The financial industrial empires of men like JP Morgan, Rockefeller, Rothschild and Harriman are intimately tied up with creating the vibrant no-holds-barred capitalism in the US. In Russia the top five banks are all state-owned and their power comes […]

» Read more

The long decline in Russia’s international reserves has stopped

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Heli Simola of Bank of Finland – June 18, 2015) [Charts here bne.eu/content/story/comment-long-decline-russias-international-reserves-has-stopped] Russia’s international reserves have declined substantially, by around $150bn, since the start of 2014. However, during the second quarter of this year the level of reserves has been relatively stable, fluctuating at around $350bn-360bn. The recent stabilization has been supported by […]

» Read more

War-Weary Ukraine Shutters Cash-Starved Banks as Trust Falls

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Volodymyr Verbyany, Andras Gergely – June 12, 2015) When Vasyl Klos plunked $9,000 into a bank branch in his hometown of Lviv, Ukraine, in 2013, he assumed it was safe because it was German owned. He was wrong. Bank Forum JSC had already been sold by Commerzbank AG to Ukrainian businessman Vadim Novinsky, a fact Klos […]

» Read more

Russia No Longer a Good Option for Foreign Banks

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 3, 2015) The economic fallout of the Ukraine crisis has transformed perceptions of Russia among foreign banks and will likely see lenders curtail the operations of their Russian subsidiaries, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday. Foreign banks piled into Russia in the early 2000s in the hope that near 10 percent annual economic […]

» Read more
1 2