Correspondent, New York
Megan's Feed
Jun 24, 2014

Russia’s VTB says no plan to inject funds into Bulgarian bank

MOSCOW/SOFIA, June 24 (Reuters) – Russian bank VTB
said it had no plan to inject capital into Bulgaria’s Corporate
Commercial Bank (Corpbank), making it more likely the
lender will be nationalised in July.

Customers rushed to withdraw money from Bulgaria’s
fourth-largest lender last week after media reports of suspect
deals involving the bank and its top shareholder. The country’s
central bank took control of Corpbank, froze its operations and
started rescue talks with shareholders.

Jun 24, 2014

U.S. firm Abbott to buy Russian drugmaker for up to $495 million

MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. healthcare firm Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is to buy Russian drugmaker Veropharm (VRPH.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for up to $495 million, giving it a manufacturing presence in a country where it has been operating for nearly 40 years, Abbott said on Tuesday.

The deal bucks a drought in Russian M&A activity this year due to the country’s faltering economy and the Ukraine crisis. U.S. companies have been particularly stymied from investing here with Washington advising top executives to steer clear of a major Russian investment forum in May.

Jun 4, 2014

Moscow investment bankers begin to feel the pinch

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian investment banking activity has been hit this year by the faltering economy and the Ukraine crisis, putting pressure on Moscow bankers to get creative in offering local firms different ways to raise capital instead of the standard fare of international share and bond issues.

Russian investment banking fee income has fallen by about a third to $166 million in the year to date compared with the same period last year, with a marked squeeze in the last few months, according to Thomson Reuters data.

May 29, 2014

Profits slide at Russia’s Sberbank as Ukraine crisis, economy bite

MOSCOW, May 29 (Reuters) – Sberbank, Russia’s
biggest bank by assets, reported an 18 percent slide in profits
on Thursday and more than doubled its provisions for bad loans,
hit by the Ukraine crisis, a falling rouble and an economy
flirting with recession.

Once feted for its fast-growing economy, Russia is now
forecast to achieve growth of just 0.5 percent this year, hurt
by Western sanctions and instability brought by the stand-off
with Kiev and wider emerging market uncertainty.

May 27, 2014

Russian bank VTB’s profit plunges as Ukraine crisis bites

MOSCOW, May 27 (Reuters) – Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB
, laid bare the economic damage being
inflicted by the Ukraine crisis, missing forecasts with a
98-percent plunge in first-quarter net profit as it set aside
more money to cover potential bad loans.

Russian banks have been increasing their provisions against
potential loan defaults for some time as economic growth slowed.

May 23, 2014

China and Qatar seek more Russia investment as U.S. interest fades

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – Sovereign wealth funds in China and Qatar on Friday signaled their increased commitment to Russia, boosting Moscow’s hopes of strengthening ties with Asia and the Middle East as relations with the West deteriorate.

Major sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia have invested in Russian businesses and backed its state-funded private equity fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). By contrast, U.S. financial investors in the country remain few.

May 23, 2014

China seeks more Russia investment as U.S. interest fades

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, May 23 (Reuters) – China’s $575
billion sovereign wealth fund said on Friday it wants to
increase its investment in Russia, boosting Moscow’s hopes of
strengthening ties with Asia as relations with the West
deteriorate.

Major sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia
have invested in Russian businesses and backed its state-funded
private equity fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
By contrast, U.S. financial investors in the country remain few.

May 22, 2014

Russian vanity projects lose luster

SKOLKOVO, Russia (Reuters) – Students at Moscow’s new science-focused university crowded into a lecture theatre outside the capital earlier this month to hear Canadian-born Nobel prizewinning molecular biologist Sidney Altman speak.

The students at Skoltech are yet to have their own campus because it is still under construction, so the lecture was held at the Moscow School of Management, a long dreary journey from Moscow city centre by metro and then bus up a traffic-clogged road.

May 14, 2014

Renault-Nissan’s Russian resilience has limits

PARIS/MOSCOW, May 14 (Reuters) – Renault is
looking closely at Western sanctions on Russia even though its
carmaking alliance with Nissan appears better
positioned than others to ride out the crisis over Ukraine.

The European Union and the United States have already
imposed economic sanctions on Russia, including some against the
deputy chairman of OAO AvtoVAZ, a Russian carmaker in
which Renault-Nissan has a controlling majority.

May 13, 2014

Western corporate bosses pull out of Russian economic forum

MOSCOW/LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) – Around a dozen chief
executives and chairmen of major U.S. and European corporations
have withdrawn from an economic conference in Russia as pressure
between Moscow and the West grows over the crisis in Ukraine.

Eleven business leaders who were listed in late March as
scheduled to attend the May 22-24 St. Petersburg International
Economic Forum are no longer on the forum’s website.