LONG READ: Playing Real Risk - Russia vs US

Ben Aris in Berlin April 18, 2019

I play a game of Risk with my son using the real distribution of great power military bases around the world.

Moscow Exchange CEO changed but strategy to remain the same

Ben Aris in Berlin April 17, 2019

The CEO of the Moscow Exchange Alexander Afanasiev, who oversaw a revolutionary change in Russia’s capital markets, has stepped down a year early and will be replaced by Yury Denisov, another capital markets professional.

Russian data regulations fuelling the rapid growth of Russian cloud services

Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow April 17, 2019

The clouds over Russia’s burgeoning e-commerce business are swelling, but that is a good thing as the cloud services business expanding on the back of new regulations that are feeding an already fast growing business.

Central and Eastern European countries' high-tech exports boom

Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow April 17, 2019

Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries high-tech exports are booming, according to a study recently conducted by RS Components, based on an analysis of 10 years of high-tech export data from The World Bank.

Combined net profit of Russian banks soars to RUB587bn in January-March as sector continues to recover

bne IntelliNews April 16, 2019

The Russian banking sector's recovery is expected to continue this year. The cumulative profit of the sector is already well ahead of any of the last four years.

EU approves the European gas directive, Gazprom submits third application for Nord Stream 2 pipeline route through Danish waters

bne IntelliNews April 16, 2019

The EU Council finally approved a European gas directive on April 15 that is expected to delay commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas line – and potentially leave it half empty.

Russia's Ministry of Finance takes "manual control" over the most indebted regions

Ben Aris in Berlin April 16, 2019

With the Russian public finances in rude health the government is moving to take tighter control of regional debt, the build-up of which nearly caused a crisis only two years ago.

The Russian producer price index rose 10.9% y/y in March

bne IntelliNews April 16, 2019

The Russian producer price index rose 0.9% on the month and 10.9% on the year in March after a 0.1% month-on-month increase in February, the Federal State Statistics Service said in a statement on April 16.

Russia restarts Turkmen gas imports after 3-year stoppage

bne IntelliNews April 16, 2019

Volumes not yet known but news could be substantial boost for Turkmenistan’s embattled economy.

COMMENT: Russia: industrial output slows back to reality

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow April 16, 2019

The return of industrial output to moderate 1.2% year-on-year growth in March confirms the technical nature of February's 4.1% y/y spike. So far we see signs of a slowdown of investment activity at the beginning of 2019.

German investments in Russia reach their highest level in the last decade

bne IntelliNews April 15, 2019

Investments by German businesses into Russia topped €3bn in the last decade, although the number of German firms operating in Russia has fallen from over 6,000 to circa 4,500 in the same period.

Russian children's store Detsky Mir puts in robust 1Q19 trading results, launches in Minsk

Ben Aris in Berlin April 15, 2019

Real incomes in Russia may be stagnating but people are still spending on their kids and most of Detsky Mir's gains came from increasing customer numbers.

VEB.RF to buy major stake in stoligarch Rotenberg's construction company Mostotrest

Ben Aris in Berlin April 15, 2019

The deal is bound to raise eyebrows as Rotenberg has grown wealthy on innumerous state contracts to construct major pieces of infrastructure.

Russia’s industrial output grew 1.2% on the year and 10.3% m/m in March

bne IntelliNews April 15, 2019

The result was a slowdown after February’s surprisingly strong result.

Russia's Yandex could cash in $96mn on Uber shares

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2019

Russian internet major Yandex has the right to sell its stake in Uber Technologies that are worth $96mn, Prime reported on April 12 citing documents published by Uber.

Russian HeadHunter service prepares for IPO

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2019

Russia's leading job searching service HeadHunter prepares for a $250mn IPO in May-June 2019 on NASDAQ, Vedomosti daily reported on April 11 citing unnamed investment bankers and sources close to the shareholders of the company.

Russian online retailer Wildberries posts 85% growth in revenues in 1Q19

bne IntelliNews April 12, 2019

Russian online retailer Wildberries posted 85% year-on-year growth in revenues in the first quarter of 2019 to RUB38.9bn ($603mn)

Renewed demand for Russian domestic OFZ treasury bills a barometer of improving sentiment towards Russian assets

Ben Aris in Berlin April 11, 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Finance held yet another successful weekly auction of its ruble-denominated OFZ treasury bills, selling RUB86.8bn ($1.3bn) worth of the bills with a relatively modest 8.35% cut-off yield.

Drama in Lenta takeover bid as minorities prefer Magnit to Mordashev

Vadim Dumes in Paris April 11, 2019

Minority shareholders of Russian retailer Lenta are planning to block the acquisition of the company by Severgroup of steel tycoon Alexei Mordashov and back a competing bid by retailing peer leading supermarket chain Magnit

Russia's strong $32bn 1Q19 current account surplus is actually a sign of economic weakness

bne IntelliNews April 10, 2019

In 1Q19, Russia’s current account surplus totalled $32.8bn, up from $30bn seen in 1Q18, according to the preliminary estimate of the balance of payments published by the CBR.