Russia’s MTS to sell its stake in online retailer Ozon to Sistema

bne IntelliNews February 20, 2019

Russia’s leading mobile phone company Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) says it will sell its 18.7% stake in Russian online retailer Ozon Holdings to AFK Sistema for RUB7.9bn ($120mn).

Central Bank of Russia inspected the bank at the heart of the Baring Vostok dispute six months ago

bne IntelliNews February 20, 2019

The CBR found a lot of problems on the balance sheet of Orient Express Bank (aka Vostochniy bank) and ordered a recapitalisation by April.

COMMENT: Putin delivers a homely state of the nation speech

Ben Aris in Berlin February 20, 2019

It took Russian President Vladimir Putin an hour to get to the international issues as his state of the nation speech focused almost entirely on how the Kremlin will make people's lives better at home.

Russian dividend season about to open

Ben Aris in Berlin February 20, 2019

Russian companies pay the highest dividends in the world. At the moment the average dividend yield if 6.8%, which is around twice that of the benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) index.

Ukraine's flourishing e-commerce sector is catching up with Russia's

Ben Aris in Berlin February 19, 2019

Ukraine saw the second fastest e-commerce sector growth in Europe last year, up by just under a third, according to the EU-funded Better Regulation Delivery Office.

Estonia orders closure of Danske Bank’s local branch after money laundering scandal

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw February 19, 2019

The branch was revealed to have funnelled billions of euros in a massive breach of national and EU anti-money-laundering regulations.

The Kremlin appoints an experienced head to run Russia's state rubbish disposal company

bne IntelliNews February 19, 2019

In a sign of how seriously the Kremlin is taking the demonstrations against smelly landfills last year, the state has set up a national rubbish disposal company and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev appointed Denis Butsaev as its head.

Russian gold exports fell more than three-fold in 2018

bne IntelliNews February 19, 2019

The Kremlin has been stock piling the yellow metal in anticipation of more US sanctions.

Russian state-backed tech fund Rusnano exits US Wi-Fi chipset provider Quantenna with high return

EWDN in Moscow February 19, 2019

Rusnano, the Russian state-controlled nanotechnology corporation, has exited Quantenna Communications, a US-based provider of high-performance Wi-Fi solutions, six years after an investment of around $20mn in the company

Siberian startup iFarms secures $1mn to develop “vertical farms” across Russia and Europe

EWDN in Moscow February 19, 2019

Siberian startup iFarm secures $1mn to develop “vertical farms” across Russia and Europe

HeadHunter invests into Russia’s Skillaz, an AI-powered recruitment solution developer

EWDN in Moscow February 19, 2019

Russia’s HeadHunter has acquired a 25% stake as a result of a capital injection into Skillaz, a developer of advanced recruitment solutions,

Swedish investor VNV injected $8.5mn in Russia’s Busfor ticketing service in 2018

EWDN in Moscow February 19, 2019

In December last year Vostok New Ventures (VNV), a major Swedish investment firm operating internationally, invested $4.5mn in online bus ticketing platform Busfor, in addition to the $4mn it had injected in the company in mid-2018

Turkmenistan halves oil exports amid Vitol and SOCAR clash

bne IntelliNews February 19, 2019

Turkmenistan has halved its oil exports in recent weeks due to a lack of tankers caused by a clash between Swiss trading house Vitol and Azerbaijan’s SOCAR, Reuters reported last week, citing anonymous traders.

Russia’s industrial production slows in January to 1.1% from 2% in December

bne IntelliNews February 18, 2019

Russia’s industrial and manufacturing activity is slowing after a relatively robust 2018, which saw industrial production growth of between 2-3% most months.

Russia is home to the world’s coldest jobs

bne IntelliNews February 17, 2019

Some Russian employees are expected to go to work in temperatures further below freezing than in any other part of the world, according to a study by Crystal Ski Holidays.

MOSCOW BLOG: Is the arrest of US fund manager Michael Calvey a litmus test for Russia?

Ben Aris in Berlin February 16, 2019

How much damage will the February 14 arrest of US fund manager Michael Calvey on “large-scale embezzlement” charges do to Russia's investment case?

COMMENT: The Warsaw ministerial on the Middle East: A new dimension of solidarity

Maxim Mikheev research associate at the Dialogue of Civilisations in Berlin February 16, 2019

On February 13-14, the “Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East” conference was held in Warsaw at the initiative of Poland and the United States, and gathered representatives from 62 countries.

Mike Calvey, founder of top Russian private equity fund Barings Vostok and Russia’s most famous fund manager, arrested on fraud charges

Ben Aris in Berlin February 15, 2019

Local reports say detention relates to theft of 2.5bn rubles. His unsettling arrest a hard blow to fragile investment scene. Russian sovereign wealth fund chief says he would vouch for him.

Russia’s Gazprom mulling a second Turk Stream pipeline

Ben Aris in Belrin February 15, 2019

Gazprom might construct a Turk Stream 2 gas pipeline if there is sufficient demand and the company receives all the necessary approvals, says Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.

Food delivery service Golama raises $2.3mn, sees orders grow by “up to 30%” monthly

bne IntelliNews February 15, 2019

Moscow-based grocery delivery service Golama has attracted 150mn ruble (approximately $2.3mn) in equity funding from an unnamed individual investor, according to media reports, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).