Correspondent, New York
Megan's Feed
Jun 29, 2012

Russia’s Alfa says it has $1.5 billion in Pamplona

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The investment group which this week raised its stake in Italian bank Unicredit (CRDI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to 5 percent is a quarter funded by billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group, according to the Russian conglomerate.

Alfa Group has about $1.5 billion invested in a number of funds run by private equity and hedge fund Pamplona, Alfa said on Friday.

Jun 23, 2012

Surviving the investment bank “killing zone”: Renaissance

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Investment banking faces a shakeout and only large commercial players and boutiques offering outstanding service will survive and prosper, the head of emerging markets banking specialist Renaissance Group told Reuters.

Investment banks are undergoing wrenching change as weak financial markets force companies to pull back on raising capital and striking deals, cutting the flow of fee income that had formed the lifeblood of the business.

Jun 21, 2012

Sovereign, buyout funds take tentative steps in Russia

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21 (Reuters) – Major private
equity and sovereign wealth funds on Thursday took tentative
first steps to invest in Russia, praising efforts to break the
economy’s fixation on energy and become a more diversified, open
and less risky place to invest.

At a forum used by President Vladimir Putin to court foreign
capital, sovereign wealth fund the Kuwait Investment Authority
said it struck a $500 million deal to invest alongside the $10
billion state-backed Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Jun 20, 2012

Putin’s next challenge for Russia: win back investors

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 20 (Reuters) – President
Vladimir Putin will court investors this week at Russia’s answer
to Davos, but one who will not be attending is Steven Dashevsky,
a fund manager who is looking at diversifying away from the
country.

Once optimistic about Russia, Dashevsky, who manages a $100
million hedge fund, has little hope for a new round of
investor-friendly economic reforms.

Jun 6, 2012

Russian risks bear down on oligarch Fridman

MOSCOW, June 6 (Reuters) – Mikhail Fridman once seemed
omnipotent as one of the elite group of Russian businessmen who
amassed vast fortunes and huge political influence under
President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s.

More than a decade after Vladimir Putin succeeded Yeltsin
and started reining in the oligarchs, Fridman is on the
defensive as a new generation of businessmen snatch up assets
and the Kremlin reasserts control over the economy.

Jun 4, 2012

Russia-China fund to form, eyes forestry deal

MOSCOW, June 4 (Reuters) – A multibillion-dollar investment
fund set up by Russia and China is expected to make its first
investment, into a Russian forestry company, as economic ties
between the neighboring countries grow closer.

Plans for the fund – a venture between sovereign wealth fund
China Investment Corp and the state-backed Russian Direct
Investment Fund – were announced in October.

May 31, 2012

Dodd says JPMorgan loss proof of legislation need

MOSCOW, May 31 (Reuters) – Former U.S. Senator Christopher
Dodd said the shocking disclosure by JPMorgan Chase & Co
of a $2 billion trading loss is proof of the need for
legislation he co-authored to limit excessive risk-taking by
banks.

“This was a big deal, it might have sounded like a minor
glitch but there were some major commitments made here,” said
Dodd, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Moscow
conference, when asked about the JPMorgan trade.

May 24, 2012

Sechin’s Rosneft set to shop after Arctic spree

MOSCOW (Reuters) – In the hands of powerful former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, Russia’s state-controlled oil giant Rosneft (ROSN.MM: Quote, Profile, Research) is likely to make a grab for low-hanging fruit in Russia to feed its reserves and market value.

Sechin could eye targets such as Surgutneftegas (SNGS.MM: Quote, Profile, Research), Russia’s No.4 oil producer which is friendly with the Kremlin, or Zarubezhneft, which spearheads state energy investments in Vietnam and Cuba, sources and analysts said.

May 17, 2012

Facebook bet pays off for Russia’s Usmanov

MOSCOW, May 17 (Reuters) – Russia’s richest man recognized
the value of Facebook Inc three years ago when he
invested in the social networking company and now stands to
enjoy a payday of around $1 billion, propelling him further
ahead of Russia’s oligarchs, who have largely stuck with oil and
steel.

Alisher Usmanov, who topped Forbes magazine’s annual list of
Russia’s richest investors in April, began his career making
plastic bags and built his fortune in metals and mining. He is
now worth $18.1 billion, up from $2.6 billion six years ago,
according to Forbes.

May 15, 2012

Vimpelcom net profit down but Russia unit improves

MOSCOW, May 15 (Reuters) – Telecoms operator Vimpelcom
said it was seeing signs of a turnaround in its core
Russian business, and it had a good chance of winning one of the
next-generation 4G licences to be awarded by the government.

Though overall first quarter net profit fell by nearly a
third, hit by higher taxes and rising finance costs, New
York-listed Vimpelcom said core profit in Russia had reversed a
decline seen last year and revenues were growing.