Russia and Turkey step up fight against dollar’s dominance in trade

Ben Aris in Berlin August 16, 2018

Like Moscow, Ankara has fallen out of the top 30 largest holders of US T-bonds. Iran and China are also on board with the idea of settling transactions in national currencies.

Sberbank becomes Russia’s most valuable brand

bne IntelliNews August 15, 2018

In the topsy turvy world of Russian business it is perhaps no surprise that a state-owned bank is the biggest in the country, Russia’s most valuable company, highest profile financial institution — and now most valuable brand.

Over 130mn people watched the World Cup in Central and Eastern Europe

bne IntelliNews August 14, 2018

Almost half the population of the CEE region were glued to their tellies watching the FIFA World Cup between June 14 and July 15 this year. The Russian game against Croatia attracted the biggest TV audience in 20 years.

Russia’s VK announces privacy changes to protect users from arrest

bne IntelliNews August 14, 2018

The Kremlin has been cracking down on online criticism of the government. VK has been accused of being too compliant as of the 182 criminal cases launched in 2017 for social network posts, 138 were based on VK posts.

Russia's ruble is sliding, pulled down by the collapse of the Turkish lira

Ben Aris in Berlin August 14, 2018

Russia’s ruble fell to RUB69.40 against the dollar on August 13, its lowest level in two years, pulled down by a combination of the threat of new US sanctions and the collapse of the Turkish lira.

Russia to increase oil production to new record highs in 2019

bne IntelliNews August 14, 2018

Russian oil producers have already returned oil production to record levels this year and will boost crude production next year further thanks to the launch of several greenfield projects, Opec said.

Turkey may exit Nato by year’s end say retired admirals and generals

bne IntelliNews August 14, 2018

Survey report from New York-based Academy Securities notes Ankara’s increasing cosiness with Moscow and rows with the US.

Smallprint shows Caspian Sea summit was not the ‘summit to end all summits’

Ben Aris in Berlin August 13, 2018

Signing of convention made for a nice photocall, but expect more interminable wrangling on how to divide up the oil and gas resources.

Russian GDP grows 1.8% in the second quarter of 2018

bne IntelliNews August 13, 2018

Russia’s GDP expanded by 1.8% in the second quarter, a bit weaker than analysts were expecting but up from 1.3% in the first quarter and continuing in the right direction, economists said on August 12.

MOSCOW BLOG: Turkey's crisis a golden opportunity for the Kremlin

Ben Aris in Berlin August 13, 2018

Turkey finds itself in tremendous economic peril and Donald Trump’s actions only serve to aggravate the situation. The Kremlin may sense a shot at breaking up Nato. And analysts even see the possible emergence of an anti-US “axis of the sanctioned”.

MOSCOW BLOG: US declares economic war on Russia

Ben Aris in Berlin August 12, 2018

“The US has declared economic war on Russia,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in remarks that set the stage for a real military clash between the two countries.

Russian shares tank on US announcement of new Russia sanctions over UK poisoning

bne IntelliNews August 9, 2018

Russian stocks tumbled after the US State Department announced it will impose new sanctions on Russia by the end of August over the alleged used of military-grade nerve agent in the poisoning of former Russian agent Sergei Skripal on UK soil

Russian growth is stymied by a crisis of confidence

Ben Aris in Berlin August 8, 2018

Russia’s economy is doing fairly well but what is holding it back from faster growth is a crisis of confidence among businesses. Corruption and red tape are problems, but the predatory nature of the state-owned enterprises is a bigger one.

Russia’s flourishing toilet paper industry

Ben Aris in Berlin August 8, 2018

Russia’s economic growth may well be in the toilet, but that's probably the best time to get into the toilet paper business.

Asian investors replace western players in Russia's FDI

Ben Aris in Berlin August 8, 2018

Foreign investors put up capital for 238 projects in 2017 — a record number for Russia according to EY. While a number of investments from western countries are on hold, their absence is more than made up for by new investors from Asia.

Russian Audit Chamber to get stronger anti-corruption mandate

Vadim Dumesh in Paris August 7, 2018

Russia's Audit Chamber, which recently got a new boss, heavyweight policymaker Alexei Kudrin, is demanding a broader mandate to fight corruption, position itself as the know-how centre and the go-to anti-corruption institution.

Foreign investors selling Russian stocks for 15 weeks straight

bne IntelliNews August 7, 2018

A lacklustre economic performance and fears of new sanctions have led investors to sell Russian stocks.

Russian CPI inflation ticks up to 2.5% in July

bne IntelliNews August 6, 2018

Consumer price inflation ticked up to 2.5% in July, just below the consensus forecast of 2.6%, but is expected to continue to rise to the long-term trend level of 4% over the next year, according to Central Bank of Russia.

Russia's Rosneft launches first ever share buyback programme as part of investment makeover

bne IntelliNews August 6, 2018

Russia's largest oil company state-controlled Rosneft has launched the company’s first ever share buyback programme worth $2bn that will last until December 2020 acquiring a maximum of 340mn or 3.2% of company's share capital and a third of freefloat

Russian service sector PMI accelerated again in July keeping the composite index in the black but only just

bne IntelliNews August 5, 2018

Russian service sector growth accelerated again in July, picking up momentum from June’s recent low and defying a slowdown in manufacturing in the last three months, just keeping the composite business PMI index in the black.