STOLYPIN: Coronavirus and Kremlin stressing Russia’s elite social contract

Mark Galeotti director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence and also an honorary professor at UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies June 1, 2020

To some, under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vladimir Putin’s much-vaunted ‘power vertical’ is rotating, turning on its head. Power has shifted from the centre to the regions

Russia’s services PMI up slightly m/m in May, but contraction this year is significant

Ben Aris in Berlin June 1, 2020

The IHS Markit Russia Services Purchasing Index (PMI) was up slightly to 36.2 in May from 31.3 in April, but still well below the 50 no-change mark, as the services sector has been crushed by the coronacrisis.

Malta seizes $1.1bn worth of “counterfeit” Libyan dinars printed by Russian state-owned company

Ben Aris in Berlin June 1, 2020

The US State Department has announced that Malta seized $1.1bn worth of “counterfeit” Libyan dinars that were travelling by ship to the Libyan parallel government and were printed by the Russian state-owned company Goznak.

Customs officials confiscate 70 tonnes of fine cheese smuggled into Russia from the EU

bne IntelliNews May 31, 2020

Russian authorities confiscated 70 tonnes of fine European cheeses smuggled into the country in a container and mislabelled as industrial rubber for use in the construction industry.

Trump postpones G7 summit in US, invites Russia to attend

bne IntelliNews May 31, 2020

US President Donald Trump has postponed a planned G7 summit slated to happen in June, but has invited Russia to attend the rescheduled meeting in September in New York.

LONG READ: The Growers - a handful of countries in New Europe are coping with the coronacrisis and are still expanding

bne IntelliNews May 29, 2020

Gold-exporting Uzbekistan has the emerging Europe region's best shot at achieving positive GDP growth this year. Other economies managed to expand in Q1 but will be pushed into full-year contractions.

Russia's Sberbank opens a commodity trading subsidiary in Zug in Switzerland

bne IntelliNews May 29, 2020

Sber Trading Swiss AG based in Zug, Switzerland, will become the main hub of Sberbank's international physical commodity trading business

New coronavirus cases decline across emerging Europe but the epidemic’s not over yet

bne IntelliNews May 29, 2020

Steady growth in new cases in several countries despite easing of lockdowns, numbers pushed up by outbreaks at industrial plants.

For first time Turkey’s LNG imports outstrip pipeline gas imports

bne IntelIiNews May 28, 2020

Gas delivered via pipelines from Russia and Iran down 72% y/y and 33% y/y in March. US expanding shipments of liquefied natural gas amid glut as spot prices fall.

A third of Russians believe that the danger of the coronavirus epidemic is exaggerated or a fiction

bne IntelliNews May 28, 2020

A third of Russians (32.8%) believe that the danger of the coronavirus epidemic is exaggerated, or they consider it to be an invention of interested parties, according to a study conducted by the Higher School of Economics (HSE).

Russia’s VTB trapped in a London lockdown until 2024

Jason Corcoran in Dublin May 28, 2020

Russians state-owned banking giant VTB is trapped in an expensive lease for its European headquarters in London for another four years even as the Kremlin-controlled lender builds up a new investment base in Frankfurt, bne IntelliNews can reveal.

Russian retail sales down by a quarter year on year in April, as unemployment soars

bne IntelliNews May 27, 2020

Russia’s April lockdown hit the statistics this week, after Rosstat reported that retail sales were down a massive 23.4% year on year and unemployment almost doubled in the month, the state statistics agency said on May 27.

Russian policy veteran Kudrin urges seizing of the COVID moment for visionary reform

bne IntelliNews May 26, 2020

The head of Russia's Audit Chamber Alexei Kudrin has published an oped laying out his vision of the state anti-crisis policy amid the coronavirus epidemic.

Russia's Yandex.Taxi's IPO still on, as it struggles to stay profitable

Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow May 25, 2020

Yandex.Taxi, the ride-hailing arm of Russian online giant Yandex, is pushing ahead with its plans to organise its highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO), while struggling to remain profitable despite the crisis

Russia's IT segment looks at losses in Q2

Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow May 25, 2020

Hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and lockdown measures aimed at curbing the pandemic, the Russian IT segment expects losses in the April-June period, unless support measures are offered by the government.

Russia’s leading petrochemical company Sibur raises $208mn with bonds issue at record low yields

bne IntelliNews May 22, 2020

Russia’s leading petrochemical producer Sibur Holding successfully closed the order book for its BO-01 and BO-02 exchange-traded bond issues, worth RUB10bn ($139mn) and RUB5bn ($69mn) respectively, the company announced on May 21.

Chechen strongman Kadyrov admitted to hospital with coronavirus

bne IntelliNews May 22, 2020

The leader of Chechnya and one of the most controversial figures in Russian politics, Ramzan Kadyrov, has reportedly been admitted to “one of the best hospitals in Moscow” after he was believed to be infected with the coronavirus

Russian OFZs are an Emerging Markets investor's safe haven

Ben Aris in Berlin May 22, 2020

Russia has emerged as a safe haven for investors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has rocked capital markets around the world, according to a paper from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

Moscow wounded by the coronavirus epidemic, but best prepared to weather the storm

Ben Aris in Berlin May 21, 2020

More than half of all Russia’s 300,000-plus registered cases of coronavirus infections are in Moscow, making it the epicentre of the Russian epidemic. But its size and wealth makes it the best able to cope with the crisis.