Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Pirelli flirts with joke version of hell

March 26, 2015

That’s where the chefs are British, the lovers Swiss and the mechanics French. Pirelli risks becoming the corporate equivalent: the management Italian (as in the joke), its owner a Chinese state enterprise, and other partners Russian. Minority investors won’t find it funny.

Review: Money, theft and death in Putin’s Russia

By Edward Chancellor
March 6, 2015

Bill Browder's grandfather was an American communist. The grandson ran a hedge fund which profited during the chaos under Boris Yeltsin. But Browder did not reckon with the hard men of the Putin regime. His book offers some sobering lessons for investors in emerging markets.

Others will join hryvnia and rouble in FX sin bin

By Edward Hadas
February 6, 2015

Ukraine’s currency plunged 30 pct in a day. Russia’s is down by half since July. Both are stuck in vicious circles, where local inflation and devaluation reinforce each other. In a disinflationary world where capital is flighty, others could easily fall into the same spiral.

Putin, Piketty and Draghi hit Davos in spirit only

January 23, 2015

Political and financial leaders attending the World Economic Forum’s 45th annual meeting are buzzing about rampant inequality, the ECB’s quantitative easing and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. All that’s missing from the Alpine retreat are the three provocateurs of the debates.

Ukraine crisis forced into suspended animation for 2015

December 29, 2014

Markets worried about Europe’s economy in 2014. They will worry about Europe’s security in 2015. EU sanctions over Ukraine will weigh heavily on Russia’s economy. A lot depends on Vladimir Putin, but Europeans need to define what they want sanctions to achieve.

Stick with BRIC

By Edward Hadas
December 23, 2014

It’s easy to mock the idea that the four biggest emerging markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – will reshape the world economy. But the balance is still moving their way, even with slowdowns and Russian turmoil. Markets say otherwise because they were too keen at first.

Russia’s foreign banks have varying pain barriers

December 17, 2014

With the Russian banking system hobbled by sanctions, Raiffeisen, UniCredit and SocGen are well placed to grab market share in commercial lending. The vital factor will be how insulated they are against the current turmoil. Some look better placed to tough it out than others.

Rouble free fall throws Russia into ugly spiral

December 16, 2014

The Russian currency kept falling after the central bank hiked its key rate from 10.5 pct to 17 pct, leaving policymakers with few sensible short-term options. Further out, only higher oil prices and an end to the Ukrainian stand-off can soothe markets. That’s unlikely to happen soon.

Gold’s rally won’t outlast tectonic rate shift

December 11, 2014

The yellow metal is up as tumbling oil prices and a rising dollar destabilise many financial markets. Euro zone fears and Russian gold buying have also helped. But U.S. rate rises will create major shifts in the financial world. Gold is set for a bad 2015.

Sinking rouble puts debt squeeze on Russia Inc

December 3, 2014

Most of Russia’s external debt is owed by the country’s banks and corporates. About $138 bln comes due in the next eighteen months. With the currency down 40 percent against the dollar this year, that will put a major strain on enterprises’ cashflows. Expect the state to step in.