Russian Safmar brings German MediaMarkt into mega-merger of M.Video and Eldorado retailers

bne IntelliNews June 20, 2018

Safmar group of billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev confirms earlier reports and will acquire MediaMarktSaturn electronics retailer owned by the German Ceconomy, Vedomosti daily said on June 20 citing both companies.

IIB prepares to set up European unit in Budapest

bne IntelliNews June 20, 2018

A delegation from Moscow-based multilateral lender the International Investment Bank (IIB) visited Budapest on June 18 as it prepares to set up its new European unit in the Hungarian capital, the bank said in a statement.

US bill blocks F-35 sales to Turkey if Russian S-400 deal goes ahead

bne IntelliNews June 19, 2018

If Donald Trump signs a reconciled version of the bill, 100 stealth jets earmarked for Ankara may be held back.

Retroactive revision of Russian industrial output shows strong growth, raises eyebrows

bne IntelliNews June 19, 2018

Russia's statistics bureau Rosstat surprised analyst by significantly revising its previous series on industrial output, with industrial growth rate increasing by strong 1.4pp year-on-year on average in the period of January 2017 and April 2018.

Russia's VTB Bank eyes JV with China's Alibaba

bne IntelliNews June 19, 2018

Afraid of falling behind its erstwhile rival, Russia's second-largest bank VTB Bank is negotiating a joint venture with Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba, Vedomosti daily said on June 19 citing unnamed sources close to the deal.

Russia’s World Cup lumbers some regions with stadia they can’t afford

bne IntelliNews June 19, 2018

Some Russian regions will not be financially capable of maintaining their 2018 FIFA World Cup facilities in the long run after the tournament is over, Fitch said in a report.

Russian banks out of the woods, but no walk in the park

Ben Aris in Berlin June 19, 2018

After more than two decades of “wild cat” banking, the dead wood and dodgy banks have largely been expelled from the sector, which is starting to look increasingly “normal”, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Developed European markets gain more benefits from globalisation than their emerging peers

bne IntelliNews June 18, 2018

Slovenia is the only East European country among the top 10 in terms of gains to GDP per capita due to globalisation, a study from German foundation Bertelsmann finds.

Russian Rosneftegaz to pay biannual divs, but only part to trickle down

bne IntelliNews June 18, 2018

Russia's state holding Rosneftegaz, that holds the government shares in oil major Rosneft, will switch to paying dividends twice a year, and will pay out at least 50% of its net profit in keeping with the Ministry of Finance’s orders.

MAPLECROFT: Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov manoeuvres into position with oil tax reform

Daragh McDowell of Verisk Maplecroft June 18, 2018

In an early policy win for Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Russia is preparing a major change in how it taxes oil. The second phase of the so-called “tax manoeuvre” will shift the tax burden entirely upstream and cut export duties to zero.

Hundreds demonstrated in Russia's Novosibirsk against government decision to raise retirement ages

bne IntelliNews June 16, 2018

Dmitry Medvedev’s government pushed through the long discussed but sensitive decision as part of the Kremlin’s drive to raise fresh revenues to meet President Vladimir Putin’s proposed RUB8 trillion spending extravaganza.

VAT hike tips Russia's CBR into hold decision on key rate at 7.25%

bne IntelliNews June 15, 2018

The board of the Central Bank of Russia resolved on June 15 to keep the key interest rate unchanged at current 7.25%, citing this week's government's decision to hike the VAT rate to 20% as the main reason for further postponing monetary easing.

Russia's top five banks account for 80% of ballooning volume of mortgage loans

Ben Aris in Berlin June 14, 2018

The biggest five banks in Russia account for eight out of ten rubles lent to home buyers and mortgage loans were up over 80% in the first four months of this year.

Russia's CBR policy uncertain ahead of June 15 meeting as Fed hikes rates

bne IntelliNews June 14, 2018

Uncertainty surrounds the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) monetary policy meeting on June 15, as analysts can’t agree on if the regulator will cut rates by 25bp from current the 7.00% or leave them on hold.

STOLYPIN: Putin builds a Presidential Administration fit for stagnation

By Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations Prague June 14, 2018

What better time than the eve of the World Cup for Vladimir Putin to reshuffle his team? However, if his tweaks of the Presidential Administration are anything to go by, he no change in direction is needed. He'd better think again.

The grain harvest outlook for Russia, Ukraine under threat due to drought

Vadim Dumes in Paris June 13, 2018

Crops in Russia and Ukraine have been hurt by hot dry weather that may reduce the the harvest this year and prices have already started to rise.

Denmark remains last to approve Russia's Nord Stream 2, Sweden finds "no reason" to ban the pipeline

bne IntelliNews June 13, 2018

Denmark is the last hold out in Europe to give permission for the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline after the Swedish government became the latest EU country to sign off on construction permissions for the Russian gas pipeline.

Russian dividend stocks are an income winner

Ben Aris in Berlin June 13, 2018

Russian stocks are paying the highest dividend yields in the world, and the stocks of the most generous companies handsomely outperform the leading indices.

Croatia ranks first worldwide in terms of tourist spending to GDP ratio

Carmen Simion in Bucharest June 12, 2018

Tourism contributed 18.8% of Croatia's GDP in 2016 and that ratio is expected to soar this year after investments in new terminals at the country's main airports, found a report from consultancy network UHY.

Kazakhstan among nations cheering SCO’s ‘victory’ over the G7

Kanat Shaku in Almaty June 12, 2018

Astana has $13bn of deals to celebrate but summit again showed Russia and China’s struggle for influence in the ‘Stans’ is far from settled.