Kremlin working on schemes to protect oligarchs hit by new sanctions list

Ben Aris in Berlin April 12, 2018

"Onshore offshores" could be created in Kaliningrad and Vladivostok as the Kremlin looks at options to create a financial bolthole for sanctions-hit oligarchs.

BRICKS & MORTAR: separating noise from reality in Russia’s real estate sector

Tim Millard in Moscow of JLL April 11, 2018

Russia's stocks, bonds and currency is in meltdown, but for the real estate market the risks are less immediate. The occupational markets are now largely ruble denominated so ruble volatility is less of a problem.

Russia’s coal industry is blooming

bne IntelliNews April 11, 2018

Russian corporations involved in coal mining, and other related sectors, grew by a staggering 68% y/y in 2017

Kremlin to reduce share of state in economy by encouraging private business growth

bne IntelliNews April 11, 2018

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said the state’s share in the economy should be reduced through privatisations, but the main focus for the government at the moment is expanding privately owned businesses.

LONG READ: Putin’s overwhelming election victory in Abkhazia

Filip Brokes in Sukhumi April 11, 2018

On March 18, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin won re-election for his fourth non-consecutive term in office with 77% of the vote. In the disputed Soviet Riviera of Abkhazia we won 94% as the locals pine for their faded days of glory

Russia ranks second in the world for digital piracy

Jane Kuhuk of East-West Digital News April 11, 2018

Russia is the second biggest consumer of digital pirated content in the world with 20.6bn visits to piracy sites in 2017, according to a report by Muso, a London-based global authority on digital piracy

Russia's ruble under worst selling pressure since January 2016

bne IntelliNews April 10, 2018

Falling value of the national currency during a rout on the Russian capital markets caused by the imposition of new US sanctions on Russia’s top businessmen may cause the central bank to pause its easing cycle.

Buy the panic: analysts mark Russia’s stock market up to buy

Ben Aris in Berlin April 10, 2018

Russian brokerage BSC Global Markets marked the Russian equity market up to buy following a rout that saw the leading indices tumble after the US government imposed new and painful financial sanctions.

Russian stocks and bonds sell off heavily after new US sanctions imposed on oligarchs

Ben Aris in Berlin April 10, 2018

Most of Russia’s blue chips were caught up in the slow-building maelstrom as investors started reacting to the sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest tycoons, but companies belonging to metals magnate Oleg Deripaska were in the front line.

Russian inflation inches up to 2.4% in March

bne IntelliNews April 9, 2018

Consumer prices in Russia rose by 0.3% month-on-month in Russia in March 2018, in line with previously observed weekly inflation dynamics and bringing the annual inflation rate to 2.4% versus 2.2% seen in February.

Russia's Rusal warns of default due to new US sanctions, En+ trading on LSE suspended

bne IntelliNews April 9, 2018

Russian aluminium major Rusal warned on the Hong Kong stock exchange that the latest US sanctions directly targeting the company and its owner tycoon Oleg Deripaska "may result in technical defaults in relation to certain credit obligations."

US imposes fresh Russian sanctions, Deripaska hit hardest

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2018

The US Department of Treasury has released an update to the sanctions against Russia, with seven Russian tycoons, 12 major companies and 17 government officials added to the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List.

E-commerce dramatically eats into foot traffic at Moscow’s leading shopping malls

Ben Aris in London April 6, 2018

The Watcom index, which measures footfall in the leading shopping malls, has been falling steadily since its inception in 2014 as Russians increasingly move online to buy everything from sugar to shoes.

CEE monthly bond wrap: Russia defies the west with two bond issues

bne IntelliNews April 5, 2018

Bond issues from emerging markets were strong in the first quarter of this year with bond traders ignoring the political brouhaha.

Putin’s Turkey visit brings S-400 missile and nuclear plant headway

bne IntelliNews April 4, 2018

Arrival of Iran’s Rouhani on April 4 for three-way meeting may, however, complicate the agenda with Ankara potentially at loggerheads with Moscow and Tehran over how to wind down the Syria conflict.

FPRI BEAR MARKETS BRIEF: Cool Hand Lukoil: Alekperov knows when to fold em’

Nicholas Trickett in London April 3, 2018

What's in store for Lukoil, Russia's largest privately owned oil company in Putin's last term in office? CEO Vagit Alekperov suggested last week that he might step down. Does the boss of Rosneft have his eye on the company?

Iranian government set to block hugely popular Telegram messaging app

bne IntelliNews April 2, 2018

National security and foreign policy commission chief recommends its 40mn Iranian users should move to another service—an app that some critics claim was developed by intelligence officers.

Anger in Moscow and Prague Castle as Czech minister extradites hacker suspect to US

Jaroslav Hroch in Prague April 2, 2018

Kremlin-friendly President Zeman fought hard to send Yevgeny Nikulin to Russia but those pushing the pro-Western orientation of Czechia appear to have won out in the case.

Russia’s manufacturing PMI puts in a marginal rise in March just above no change

bne IntelliNews April 2, 2018

Russia’s manufacturing PMI put in a marginal rise in March up to 50.6 from 50.2 a month earlier and only just above the 50 no-change mark in the IHS Markit index, a composite snapshot of manufacturing actively based on a monthly survey.