Correspondent, New York
Megan's Feed
Feb 3, 2014

Goldman bets on Russian consumer with fitness deal

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is increasing its investment in an upscale chain of fitness clubs founded by a Russian former fencer, betting lifestyle spending will grow despite an economic slowdown and slide in the rouble currency.

Goldman’s Special Situations Group (SSG) has been clinching bite-sized deals in Russia, backing entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the country’s rising middle class.

Jan 29, 2014

Russia’s Lenta may launch London IPO next week – sources

MOSCOW, Jan 29th (Reuters) – Russian hypermarket chain
Lenta, part-owned by U.S. private equity firm TPG,, may
proceed with its London initial public offering as early as next
week, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The company will be seeking to tap demand from investors for
consumer-focused stocks buoyed by a rising middle class,
although there are concerns about the impact Russia’s faltering
economy will have on spending.

Jan 28, 2014

Russian mobile firm Vimpelcom slashes dividend, spooking investors

MOSCOW, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Vimpelcom, Russia’s third
biggest mobile operator, said it would slash its dividend to pay
down debt piled up in an aggressive expansion drive, marking an
unexpected policy shift that spooked shareholders.

Vimpelcom’s expansion into Africa, Asia and continental
Europe left the group with more than $20 billion in debt,
according to its latest quarterly results. [ID nL5N0IR0PC]

Jan 15, 2014

Russian car sales seen down for second year in row

MOSCOW, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Russian car sales fell in 2013
and face another weak year as a stuttering economy puts off
buyers, dealing a blow to western automakers that have invested
heavily in the country on the expectation it would soon become
Europe’s biggest car market.

A lobby group for Europe’s top carmakers said on Wednesday
sales of new cars in Russia fell 5.5 percent last year, bringing
three years of double-digit growth to an abrupt end.

Dec 23, 2013

SUVs a bright spot in Russia as drivers seek winter wheels

MOSCOW, Dec 23 (Reuters) – All-purpose sport-utility
vehicles, offering prestige as well as protection from snow and
bad roads, are proving to be the bright spot in an otherwise
ailing Russian autos market, where overall car sales are down
around 6 percent so far this year.

“I cannot get enough XC60 at this moment,” said John Stech,
president and CEO of Volvo Cars in Russia, referring to the
Swedish firm’s luxury compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) which
retails in Russia from 1.5 million roubles ($45,600). Volvo is
owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely.

Dec 23, 2013

Russia’s red-hot car market stalls

MOSCOW, Dec 23 (Reuters) – A year of disappointing auto
sales in Russia has dealers and carmakers worried that a
once-red hot market that was set to become Europe’s largest may
have slipped out of gear.

Stuttering economic growth, unhelpful demographic trends and
a coming increase in car capacity could dampen one of the few
bright spots in a global market that is under pressure.

Dec 17, 2013

Nissan targets Russia’s first-time car buyers with resurrected Datsun

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Japan’s Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is to unveil its resurrected Datsun brand in Russia in April, seeking to lure young first-time buyers away from the used car market to its sub-400,000 rouble ($12,100) model.

Nissan retired the Datsun brand in 1981 but announced last year that it would relaunch the small car in emerging markets, targeting Indonesia, India, Russia and South Africa.

Dec 12, 2013

Russian stocks to rise 6 percent in 2014, dividends lure

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian shares are expected to rise 6 percent in 2014, recouping only some of this year’s losses, as investors are lured by an attractive dividend yield and equity market valuation, a Reuters poll found.

Russia’s emergence as an equity value play follows a lackluster year. Investors, spooked by a slowing economy, shoddy treatment of minority shareholders and a Kremlin crackdown on political opposition, fled the country.

Dec 5, 2013

Russia’s VTB reports income drop on FX losses

MOSCOW, Dec 5 (Reuters) – VTB, Russia’s
second-biggest bank, missed analyst forecasts with a sharp fall
in third-quarter profits because of currency losses, but held
off from revising its full-year forecast as some had
anticipated.

VTB previously forecast it would make a net profit of more
than 100 billion roubles ($3 billion) – the same forecast it
made but did not meet in 2012 and 2011.

Nov 28, 2013

Russia launches criminal case against ex-defence minister

MOSCOW, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Russia has opened a criminal
investigation into former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov for
ordering troops to build a road to a luxury resort which was
later visited by President Vladimir Putin.

Serdyukov was dismissed a year ago over suspected fraud at
the Defence Ministry but has not faced charges before. Finally
pressing charges now could be intended to appease opponents who
say Putin is not serious about tackling corruption, a
centuries-old problem in Russia which discourages foreign
investment.