Russia's Sberbank income collapses, plunging by 85%, return on equity down to 3% in April, RAS results show

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Russia's largest bank Sberbank reported net income of RUB11.5bn ($155mn) in April 2020, plunging by 85% year on year and 81% month on month, making a return on equity (ROE) of only 3%, the lowest since 2015.

Russian diamond sales lose their sparkle as Alrosa's drop 95%

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

Sales of rough and polished diamonds almost totally halted in April but Alrosa expects to see an upward trend in demand as early as in the beginning of 3Q20.

Russian internet guru Pavel Durov cancels the TON blockchain project

Ben Aris in Berlin May 13, 2020

Internet guru and owner of the Telegram message service Pavel Durov has halted his TON blockchain project and may have to return the $1.7bn he raised in the largest ever ICO to fund the project.

ING: Russia - The curious case of FX interventions

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow May 12, 2020

The Central Bank of Russia will make FX sales of more than $2.6bn in May, lowering the risks of a weaker ruble.

ING: Central and Eastern Europe’s fiscal and monetary response to COVID-19

Rafal Benecki et al of ING THINK May 12, 2020

What is behind the magic of high numbers of anti-crisis programmes to combat the economic fallout from COVID-19? Some CEE countries can afford policy responses like developed markets as their central banks kick-start QE support programmes.

Black April for Russian car market as sales plunge by 72%

bne IntelliNews May 12, 2020

Sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in Russia in April 2020 are the latest victims of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis with sales crashing by 72% year-on-year in April, according to the report by the AEB

Russian government adopts a third economic stimulus package, calls for rescue plans by June 1

bne IntelliNews May 12, 2020

Russia's economy will shrink by at least 5% this year. The Kremlin needs to spend more to shorten the duration of the subsequent recession and has just introduced a third stimulus package.

Putin eases Russia’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted many of Russia’s coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions, but the number of those infected continues to rise to new daily record highs.

Russian retailer X5 storms e-groceries amid COVID-19

bne IntelliNews May 11, 2020

Russia's largest retailer X5 Group saw its online sales jump almost 5-fold year-on-year in April 2020 to RUB1.7bn ($23mn), which VTB Capital (VTBC) on May 8 estimated to be the largest share of e-groceries in Russia.

OPINION: Post-COVID recessions bring risk of turbulent spring

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 11, 2020

Governments that failed to rise to the crisis — through denial, dismissing the dangers or simply incompetence, resulting in unnecessary deaths and economic hardship — should fear their day of reckoning.

LONG READ: Russia’s amazing levitating ruble

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Since March the cost of oil has halved in value but the Russian ruble has only lost 19% in the same time. What is holding the value of the ruble up?

LONG READ: Alisher Usmanov, the path of a game-changer

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov made ground-breaking investments from setting up a shopping bag factory in Soviet Russia to buying a stake in Facebook well ahead of its IPO. Now he is retreating from business to concentrate on philanthropy

Prosperity Capital sets up Paris hub in post-Brexit move

Jason Corcoran in Dublin May 8, 2020

Prosperity Capital, the most successful portfolio investor in Russia and the former Soviet Union, is setting up an office in France to serve as its European marketing arm following the decision by the UK to exit the European Union, bne IntelliNews ca

Uzbek-born philanthropist Alisher Usmanov donates $15mn to help victims of the Sardoba dam disaster

Ben Aris in Berlin May 7, 2020

Uzbek-born businessman and philanthropist Alisher Usmanov donated $15mn to help those affected by the busting of the Sardoba dam last week that had destroyed dozens of villages and had displaced a total of around 100,000 people from their homes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin approval rating falls to a two-decade low, but support for extending his rule is up

Ben Aris in Berlin May 7, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has slipped to its lowest level in more than two decades of 59% in April from 63% in March, according to independent pollster the Levada Center.

Russia’s services PMI crashes to 18-year record low

bne IntelliNews May 7, 2020

As expected, Russia’s services IHS Markit Russia Services Purchasing Index (PMI) crashed to its lowest level on record in April and was far worse than the manufacturing index reported earlier, dragging the composite index result down as well

Russian unemployment could top 10% if lockdown lasts more than a month

bne IntelliNews May 6, 2020

The number of unemployed people in Russia may grow to 5-7mn people in 2020 due to the stop-shock caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, says Alexander Safonov, Vice-Rector of the Financial University.

Rencap marks Russia up to Buy

Ben Aris in Berlin May 5, 2020

Russia's equity markets have crashed after oil prices fell by more than 50%. This is the fifth time that has happened and in every previous case the equity market has rallied strongly over the next six months.

Will Telegram’s blockchain project turn into legal, technical and financial failure?

Adrien Henni of East-West Digital News May 5, 2020

Last week Telegram, the messaging app founded by Russian tech genius Pavel Durov, yet again postponed the launch of its blockchain platform TON and cryptocurrency Gram. The release is now scheduled for April 2021.

New daily coronavirus cases in Russia top 10,000 again, down to single figures in much of CEE

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2020

Russia now has the world’s second-fasted growth of COVID-19 cases after the US, with Moscow at the epicentre of the outbreak.