Correspondent, New York
Megan's Feed
Apr 4, 2014

Russia’s card plan seen unlikely to replicate China’s UnionPay

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s push to develop a domestic payment system to reduce its reliance on the West may overcome the country’s strong cash culture, but is likely to stumble on the international stage.

Prompted by the suspension of Visa and Mastercard services to Bank Rossiya because of Western sanctions over Crimea, Russian officials have revived attempts to create a national payment system.

Apr 3, 2014

JP Morgan to process payment for Russian embassy, easing tension

MOSCOW (Reuters) – JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is processing a payment from Russia’s embassy in Kazakhstan to insurance agency Sogaz, easing tension after Moscow accused the U.S. bank of illegally blocking the transaction under the pretext of sanctions.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday the “unacceptable, illegal and absurd” act of blocking the payment would have consequences for the U.S. Embassy in Russia.

Apr 2, 2014

West’s targeted Russian sanctions ensnare investors

WARSAW/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Elektrobudowa, a Polish firm that builds power plants, is interested in buying its partner out of a Russian company they jointly own, but there is a problem: the partner firm is owned by a pro-Moscow Crimean politician on the EU’s sanctions list.

To buy out the partner would mean Elektrobudowa transferring cash or assets to the owners and that, say lawyers who specialize in sanctions law, could be interpreted as a violation of the EU measures.

Apr 1, 2014

Russia says JP Morgan ‘illegally’ blocked embassy money transfer

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia accused U.S. bank JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday of “illegally” blocking a payment from one of its embassies to an insurance agency “under the pretext of anti-Russian sanctions”.

In a statement on its website, the Russian Foreign Ministry suggested the action, which it called “unacceptable, illegal and absurd”, would have consequences for the U.S. embassy and consulate in Russia.

Mar 28, 2014

Russian carmaker Avtovaz’s loss shows scale of turnaround task

MOSCOW, March 28 (Reuters) – Russia’s No.1 carmaker Avtovaz
slumped to a loss last year, hit by falling sales of
its flagship Lada and underlining the task facing its new CEO as
he battles to revive the business amid economic uncertainty
caused by the Crimea crisis.

Once tipped to overtake Germany to become Europe’s biggest
auto market, Russia saw car sales drop 5 percent last year as
economic growth faltered, according to industry group AEB.

Mar 27, 2014

Sberbank has plans in place if Russia economy deteriorates

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Sberbank (SBER.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has plans in place to cope if the Russian economy worsens due to the Ukraine crisis and sanctions and is prepared for a scenario where growth hits zero, inflation spikes and consumer demand weakens.

Shares in Sberbank and VTB (VTBR.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Russia’s two largest state banks, have fallen sharply this month due to uncertainty over what impact the Ukraine crisis and subsequent sanctions will have on Russia’s economy.

Mar 21, 2014

Businesses fear ripple effects from ‘cosmetic’ Russian sanctions

PARIS/MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. and European sanctions against Russia are already having a ripple effect beyond their immediate targets, with Visa (V.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and MasterCard (MA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) halting payment transaction services for clients of a bank not even on the blacklist.

SMP bank’s co-owners are two of the 20 Russians targeted by U.S. President Barack Obama as he tries to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for annexing Crimea.

Mar 18, 2014

Rouble slide a double-edged sword for Russia’s car industry

MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) – The damage to consumer
confidence in Russia from a plunge in the value of the rouble
could be offset for local carmakers as they become more
competitive against foreign imports, industry leaders and
government officials said on Tuesday.

The rouble has dropped 11 percent this year as investors
price in the risk that Russia’s annexation of Crimea may lead to
economic retaliation from the West.

Mar 18, 2014

Russian privatisations set to join list of delayed deals over Ukraine

MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) – Russia said its long-delayed
privatisation programme could be postponed again, the latest
victim of a deepening economic crisis over Ukraine that has put
off IPOs, debt issues and conferences.

Russia’s MICEX index, already hurt by an economic
downturn, has fallen 13 percent this year, while the rouble is
down 11 percent against the dollar on concerns about the
impact of deteriorating relations with the West.

Mar 13, 2014

candidate Credit Bank of Moscow eyes higher retail lending

MOSCOW, March 13 (Reuters) – Credit Bank of Moscow, which is
contemplating a possible London initial public offering, is
aiming to increase the proportion of retail loans in its
portfolio betting on the capital’s resilience to Russia’s
spluttering growth.

Russia’s economic growth slowed to 1.3 percent last year and
events in Ukraine – where Russian forces have seized Crimea
prompting Western calls for sanctions – could knock it further,
causing lasting damage and pushing it into recession. [ID