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Russia's Kudrin accepts role as adviser to tech giant Yandex
  + stars: | 2022-12-05 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
MOSCOW, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Alexei Kudrin, who resigned as head of Russia's Audit Chamber last week, said on Monday he had accepted an offer from technology giant Yandex (YNDX.O) to become an adviser on corporate development. Yandex last month announced a review of a possible sweeping governance overhaul that would leave its major business units in Russia under new ownership. Sources told Reuters that Kudrin had been discussing the move to Yandex with President Vladimir Putin. Yandex confirmed that Kudrin was joining the company. A veteran of around 25 years in public service, Kudrin was finance minister for more than a decade between 2000 and 2011, and while maintaining close ties with Putin, Kudrin kept a relatively low profile in his current role as head of the Audit Chamber, Russia's public spending watchdog.
After initially dire predictions of a double-digit GDP slump, analysts and officials have gradually been improving forecasts as the Russian economy demonstrates better-than-anticipated resilience. But the decline will continue at a similar pace in 2023, with analysts now forecasting a 2.5% drop. Over time, economists have acknowledged that the contraction is likely to be less sudden, but more prolonged than first expected. "We cannot rule out a deeper contraction next year when compared with 2022, it could be 5-6%." After a rate hold on Dec. 16, the bank will continue easing monetary policy in 2023, the poll suggested, with the key rate set to end next year at 6.75%.
Russia sees drop in cross-border payments using dollars, euros
  + stars: | 2022-12-01 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +2 min
[1/2] Cars are parked in front of Russia's Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia March 29, 2021. Russia is seeking to reduce transactions with what it terms "toxic" currencies - those of countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia, in particular the dollar and euro. Use of China's yuan by Russian companies increased dramatically since Feb. 24, when Russia sent thousands of troops into Ukraine. Russians have bought 139.6 billion roubles ($2.28 billion)worth of Chinese yuan so far this year, the central bank estimated. "The challenge for Russian banks is the limited scope of opportunities in interest-bearing yuan investments," it said.
Capital investment rose 5.9% year-on-year between January and September to reach 16.418 trillion roubles ($271.65 billion), Rosstat said. Data also showed that retail sales, the gauge of consumer demand, declined 9.7% in October in year-on-year terms after a 9.8% fall in the previous month. All that comes as consumer prices climbed for the 10th week running, perhaps giving the central bank pause for thought. The Bank of Russia is widely expected to keep its key rate unchanged at 7.5% when its board meets on Dec. 16. ($1 = 60.4390 roubles)Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Darya Korsunskaya; Editing by Mark TrevelyanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
SummarySummary Companies This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in UkraineMOSCOW, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Russia is open to relaxing restrictions on transactions by so-called unfriendly non-residents in exchange for the un-freezing of Russian assets abroad, its central bank said on Tuesday. Russia implemented capital controls after Western sanctions over Moscow's actions in Ukraine and prevented foreign investors from unfriendly states, those that have imposed sanctions, from selling securities of Russian issuers. "Requirements for residents can be liberalised as much as possible, while the strictness of requirements for non-residents should differ depending on their jurisdiction," the Bank of Russia said in a report. Some overseas companies and investors found they had assets essentially trapped in Russia after Moscow responded to Western sanctions with its own restrictions. Russia's central bank said it may consider liberalisation, namely the unblocking of assets, in relation to unfriendly countries in response to the easing of sanctions.
The Russian market crashed in February after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering sweeping western sanctions. Risk aversion has soared but some fundamentals, such as a strong price of oil, Russia's main export, have underpinned the market. The G7, European Union and Australia, are set to implement a price cap on seaborne exports of Russian oil on Dec. 5. Oil and gas exporters have a strong weighting in Russian stock indexes. "For Russian oil producers, the 2023 outlook is closely linked to the effect from the EU oil embargo on Russian oil and oil products, and also the effect from the price ceiling," said Mikhail Shulgin, head of global research at Otkritie Investment.
Kudrin, who has been seen as both a pro-Western economic liberal and close ally of President Vladimir Putin throughout his career, would become the highest profile government official to leave a post since Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February. "In total, I spent about 25 years in the public sector," Kudrin wrote on his Telegram channel. He served as a powerful finance minister for more than a decade between 2000 and 2011, and while maintaining close ties with Putin, Kudrin kept a relatively low profile in his current role as head of the Audit Chamber, Russia's public spending watchdog. In a late-night meeting last week, Kudrin and Putin discussed Yandex's future, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Reporting by Marina Bobrova, Jake Cordell and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Himani SarkarOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Amid a wave of Russian initial public offerings (IPO) last year, Sokolov said it wanted to list in New York and Moscow in 2023. But Russia sending tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February led many companies to reassess IPO plans. The strategic objective is to bring the company into the public arena," Sokolov said. At least 10 companies had been looking to go public in 2022 before Russia's IPO market stalled, but signs of life may be re-emerging. "We want to become a prominent player in the local market within three to five years," Sokolov said.
Vkusno & tochka ("Tasty and that's it") restaurants started opening in June. "As of Dec. 1, Razvitie Rost enterprises will continue their work in Russia under the Vkusno & tochka brand," Rosinter said in a statement. Rosinter's restaurants, at train stations and airports in Moscow and St Petersburg, continued operating without McDonald's signs, which were covered up. Reuters found some McDonald's packaging still in use after the closure. Reporting by Olga Popova, Caleb Davis and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Kevin LiffeyOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/2] The logo of Russian internet group Yandex is pictured at the company's headquarter in Moscow, Russia October 4, 2018. Sources told Reuters that Kudrin, one of the country's top economic officials and a long-time colleague of the president, is expected to leave his role as head of Russia's Audit Chamber to take up a position with Yandex. Two of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak freely, said Putin and Kudrin had discussed Yandex. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said he could not confirm whether the meeting had taken place or not. Reporting by Polina Devitt, Darya Korsunskaya and Alexander Marrow; editing by Jason NeelyOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
SummarySummary Companies This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine. Yandex N.V. said it had started a "strategic process to review options to restructure the group's ownership and governance in light of the current geopolitical environment". "As part of the intended restructuring of the group, the board anticipates that Yandex N.V. will in due course be renamed, with the business to be divested retaining exclusive rights for the use of the Yandex brand," Yandex N.V. said in a statement. Russian President Vladimir Putin and former finance minister Alexei Kudrin addressed the future of Yandex in a late-night meeting, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. Yandex N.V. said the strategic process was at a preliminary stage and that any changes would ultimately require shareholder approval.
Nov 25 (Reuters) - Chinese nickel producer and trader Lygend Resources has priced shares at HK$15.80 apiece to raise $470m in its Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The Ningbo-based firm sold 232.54 million shares in the IPO, the fourth largest in Hong Kong so far in 2022. The biggest IPO fundraising so far this year has been CALB's (3931.HK) $1.28 billion issue. The company says it is the world's largest nickel product trader, and the largest in China in terms of nickel ore trading in 2021, with a market share of 26.8% in 2021. ($1 = 7.8120 Hong Kong dollars)Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney and Georgina Lee in Hong Kong; Additional reporting Gao Zhuo; Editing by Kenneth MaxwellOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
It sold its plant, now renamed the Moscow Automobile Factory Moskvich, for another rouble. [1/6] A view shows a car under the Soviet-era brand Moskvich during a ceremony marking the launch of the production at the Moscow Automobile Factory Moskvich in Moscow, Russia, November 23, 2022. The government's ultimate target of producing 100,000 Moskvich vehicles a year, some of which will be electric, is far below the industry average for a car plant of 200,000-300,000. "The first Moskvich cars will come off the production line in December 2022," Kamaz (KMAZ.MM) said in a statement. The car goes on sale in Russia next month, it added, although the price has yet to be disclosed.
Mobile operator Veon to sell Russian business for $2.2 bln
  + stars: | 2022-11-24 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +2 min
Veon also operates Beeline in Kazakhstan and Kyivstar in Ukraine. Veon said the management buyout of Vimpelcom implied an expected enterprise value of approximately 370 billion roubles. Though Veon is selling at a discount, the transaction represents a relatively rare example of money changing hands between parties as companies race to exit Russia. The shares have traded near record lows since tumbling after Russia began what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine. "The management buyout of our Russian operations will benefit all involved," Veon CEO Kaan Terzioglu said in a statement to Reuters.
It sold its plant, now renamed the Moscow Automobile Factory Moskvich, for another rouble. The ultimate target of producing 100,000 Moskvich vehicles a year, some of which will be electric, is far below the industry average for a car plant of between 200,000-300,000. "The first Moskvich cars will come off the production line in December 2022," truck maker Kamaz <KMAZ.MM>, the plant's technological partner, said in a statement. Sources have told Reuters that Chinese carmaker JAC's design, engineering and production platform will be used to produce the brand. The ministry said the launch of full-scale production would provide jobs for around 40,000 more people.
Rouble pares early losses to hover around 61 to the dollar
  + stars: | 2022-11-22 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
MOSCOW, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble hovered around 61 to the dollar after touching its lowest in nearly two weeks early on Tuesday, with pressure from oil market jitters countered by rouble buying to cover month-end tax payments. At 0714 GMT the rouble was down 0.1% against the dollar at 60.90 , having slid to 61.1950 earlier in the session for its weakest since Nov. 10. The rouble could strengthen towards the 60 mark during the session, said Bogdan Zvarich, chief analyst at Banki.ru. The rouble is supported by a month-end tax period in which exporters usually convert foreign exchange revenue into roubles to pay domestic liabilities. For Russian equities guide seeFor Russian treasury bonds seeReporting by Alexander Marrow Editing by David GoodmanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
MOSCOW, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chinese telecoms giant Huawei [RIC:RIC:HWT.UL] is separating its corporate division in Russia and Belarus from other CIS countries, a source close to the company told Reuters on Tuesday. The other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, made up of former Soviet republics, will now fall under the supervision of Huawei's office in Bahrain. Work to make the change has started and the new arrangement will officially become operational at the start of 2023, the source told Reuters. Vedomosti in September reported that Huawei had moved some employees in Russia to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Alexander Marrow Editing by Tomasz JanowskiOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
MOSCOW, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Bank of Russia will consider still subdued inflationary pressure and households' inflation expectations when making its next decision on interest rates in December, Deputy Governor Alexei Zabotkin said on Tuesday. Zabotkin told reporters that weekly inflation data in November was suggesting muted inflationary pressure. When holding rates last month, the central bank said Russia's partial mobilisation for its military campaign in Ukraine may initially create disinflationary pressure due to reduced consumer demand. The next rate-setting meeting is due on Dec. 16. Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Alexander MarrowOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Soon after Russia launched what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine, Krispy Kreme suspended all shipments of doughnut making supplies and ingredients to Russia and ended the agreement with its lone Russian franchisee. [1/3] A man walks past the Krunchy Dream cafe, which opened on the site of one of Krispy Kreme's cafes after the U.S. chain left the Russian market, in Moscow, Russia November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina 1 2 3A company owned by restaurateur Arkady Novikov, Krispy Kreme's former franchise partner, applied to register the Krunchy Dream trademark in late September, the RBC daily reported on Monday. Novikov Group and Krispy Kreme did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In a financial results statement in August, Krispy Kreme said it had closed 30 franchise shops in Russia.
SummarySummary Companies This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in UkraineMOSCOW, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Russia's largest lender, Sberbank (SBER.MM), has filed lawsuits challenging decisions by the European Commission and Single Resolution Board (SRB) to impose restrictions over some of its European operations. Sberbank Europe AG, based in Vienna, was closed in March by order of the European Central Bank (ECB), which cited the risk of imminent failure resulting from the bank's economic difficulties and the potential for a run on deposits after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine. The SRB, which was set up to limit the cost to taxpayers from failing banks, on March 1 adopted resolution schemes with respect to Sberbank Europe's subsidiaries in Croatia and Slovenia, ruling that shares be transferred to a buyer, citing risks to the financial stability of the two countries. Sberbank did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuits, which were brought on Aug. 22, filings published by the European Union showed on Monday. Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya and Alexander Marrow Editing by David GoodmanOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
German officials search bank in Russian oligarch probe
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
[1/3] German officials have searched a large bank in Munich and Frankfurt, Germany, November 8, 2022, in an investigation into suspected money-laundering by a Russian oligarch, a spokesperson for the prosecutors said on Tuesday. Swiss bank UBS confirmed that its branches were the subject of the searches and that it was cooperating with authorities. REUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachBERLIN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - German officials have searched a large bank in Frankfurt and Munich in an investigation into suspected money-laundering by a Russian oligarch, a spokesperson for the prosecutors said on Tuesday. Swiss bank UBS confirmed that its branches were the subject of the searches and that it was cooperating with authorities. The prosecutors' spokesperson did not name the bank and declined to name the oligarch, adding that individuals of the bank were not under investigation.
Rouble edges lower after clipping over 2-week high vs dollar
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +2 min
At 0805 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% weaker against the dollar at 61.13 , falling away from 60.8625, its strongest point since Oct. 21. "A correction on the energy market and a lower supply of foreign currency from exporters could put pressure on the rouble." The rouble-based MOEX Russian index (.IMOEX) was 0.6% lower at 2,195.0 points, earlier clipping 2,221.13 points, its strongest point since Sept. 20. The dollar-denominated RTS index (.IRTS) was down 0.9% to 1,130.9 points, down from an over five-week high. For Russian equities guide seeFor Russian treasury bonds seeReporting by Alexander Marrow Editing by Gareth JonesOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The rouble has become the world's best-performing currency this year, boosted by capital controls that include curbs on foreign currency withdrawals. Nabiullina warned against underestimating the impact of sanctions imposed against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, but said Russia's economy and banking sector have stood up well to the challenge. "Sanctions are very powerful and their influence on the Russian and global economy should not be downplayed," Nabiullina said. As the West shuns Russia and Moscow seeks to develop trading routes, potential partners are afraid of secondary sanctions, Nabiullina said. Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da CostaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
At 0741 GMT, the rouble was 0.9% stronger against the dollar at 61.53 and had gained 0.1% to trade at 60.95 versus the euro . Better-than-expected U.S. jobs data saw the dollar fall on Friday, when the Russian market was closed. "The Russian market is set for a neutral opening, though crude has every chance to drive the market higher," said BCS Global Markets in a note. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index (.IMOEX) was 0.9% lower at 2,176.2 points. For Russian equities guide seeFor Russian treasury bonds seeReporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alex RichardsonOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Russia's Yandex posts 46% jump in revenues in Q3
  + stars: | 2022-11-03 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: 1 min
SummarySummary Companies This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in UkraineMOSCOW, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Russian internet giant Yandex (YNDX.O) on Thursday reported a 46% year-on-year increase in total revenues in the third quarter to 133.2 billion roubles ($2.14 billion) and expanded its dominant share in the domestic search market. Yandex in August sold its news aggregator, content platform Zen and homepage yandex.ru to state-controlled VK in a move that is expected to tighten the government's grip on the internet, but maintains Yandex's stranglehold on online searches, which account for a little under half of its revenues. ($1 = 62.1000 roubles)Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Kevin LiffeyOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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