UK Transport / Defence Correspondent
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Sep 16, 2010

Russia stocks seen performing best among BRICs

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian stocks still offer investors the most lucrative market for the rest of the year when compared to their emerging market peers, despite lingering fears of an oil-related shock, a Reuters poll showed.

A Reuters poll of 12 analysts showed a median year-end forecast of 1,756 points for Russia’s dollar-based RTS index .IRTS, a 22 percent gain for the year or 18 percent up on Wednesday’s close of 1,484.5.

Sep 16, 2010

Lenta shareholder takes corporate battle to authorities

MOSCOW, Sept 16 (Reuters) – The corporate battle for Russian
hypermarket chain Lenta could be settled in court after its
biggest shareholder asked local prosecutors to investigate the
current claimant to be chief executive.

Rival shareholder groups have been at loggerheads for weeks
over who should be CEO of the company, recently touted as a
potential acquisition target for the world’s biggest retailer,
Wal-Mart (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). [ID:nLDE67J10P]

Sep 15, 2010

Russia eyes Africa as confidence grows: RenCap

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian firms are looking for investment opportunities in overseas markets such as Africa as an appetite grows for bigger deals in the aftermath of the financial crisis, one of Russia’s top bankers said on Wednesday.

Andrew Cornthwaite, head of investment banking at Moscow-based Renaissance Capital, said previously inward-looking Russian groups were now showing a serious interest in buying assets in Africa and India.

Sep 14, 2010

Citi’s Russia retail growth outstrips corporate

MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. banking giant Citi (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said Russian consumers spent a record amount on credit cards in August as the financial crisis became a distant memory, however businesses were taking far longer to regain confidence.

The bank’s president of its Russia unit Zdenek Turek said on Tuesday Russians spent 16 percent more on cards in August than in any month even in pre-crisis years, while its retail division recently signed up its 1 millionth customer.

Sep 14, 2010

Russia eyes foreign boost to governance

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is actively seeking foreign investors to take part in its $29 billion asset sale programme as it strives to improve corporate governance and management skills, state and private bankers said on Tuesday.

State development bank VEB said the government was marketing assets to both domestic and international players keen to buy into plum Russian assets such as pipeline monopoly Transneft (TRNF_p.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and shipping group Sovcomflot.

Sep 13, 2010

Austria probes RZB over links to Russia tax fraud

MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Austria’s prosecutor has ordered
an investigation into possible links between Raiffeisen
Zentralbank Osterreich (RZB) and an alleged $230 million Russian
tax fraud involving the hedge fund Hermitage Capital.

According to documents provided by Hermitage, Vienna state
prosecutor Michaela Holler called in June for a probe into RZB
and its relationship with a now-defunct Russian bank, Universal
Savings Bank (USB), which Hermitage said was a channel for
embezzled funds.

Sep 13, 2010

UniCredit eyes robust Russia growth

MOSCOW (Reuters) – UniCredit (CRDI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) aims for double-digit growth in Russian loans this year, driven by an economic recovery, though margins are under pressure and battling local giants for market share is seen as futile.

“We may see a double-digit growth of our loan portfolio this year … If the situation does not change dramatically we may see a double-digit growth next year too,” Mikhail Alexeyev, the head of UniCredit’s local unit said at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit on Monday.

Sep 10, 2010

Russia held back by corporate governance weakness: fund

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will remain a pariah market for international investors while it falls short of Western corporate governance standards, one of its biggest overseas investors said on Thursday.

“Corporate governance has improved… but when someone really wants to break the rules, unfortunately they can do it. It’s a big concern, as it is causing real losses and damaging investor confidence in this country,” Alexander Branis, director of Prosperity Capital Management, told a conference.

Sep 9, 2010

Russia held back by corp governance weakness-fund

MOSCOW, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Russia will remain a pariah
market for international investors while it falls short of
Western corporate governance standards, one of its biggest
overseas investors said on Thursday.

“Corporate governance has improved… but when someone
really wants to break the rules, unfortunately they can do it.
It’s a big concern, as it is causing real losses and damaging
investor confidence in this country,” Alexander Branis, director
of Prosperity Capital Management, told a conference.

Aug 31, 2010

Russia seeks to search exec’s London home: Hermitage

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Hermitage Capital, a hedge fund embroiled in a long-running row with Russian authorities over alleged tax fraud, said on Tuesday that Russia is seeking permission to search the London home of a senior executive.

Hermitage, which under co-founder Bill Browder was once Russia’s biggest investment fund, said it had court documents stating that Interior Ministry investigator Oleg Silchenko wanted UK legal assistance to conduct the search.

    • About John

      "I am currently on a six month placement as senior equities correspondent for Reuters in Moscow. Before that I worked in London as a transport and defence correspondent, but in my three years at the company I have written about everything from Congolese mining to Michelle Obama's clothes. I joined from The Scotsman newspaper - based in my home town of Edinburgh."
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