Russian vote through changes to constitution in referendum, Putin cleared to rule until 2036

bne IntelliNews July 2, 2020

With 99.9% of the vote counted, 77.93% of Russians voted for changes to Russia’s constitution and 21.26% against in a referendum on July 1. The turnout was 65%.

Russian corporate profits recovering, but still down by half on 2019 in April

bne IntelliNews July 1, 2020

Corporate profits started to recover in April, the last month with available data, but profits are running at slightly over 50% less than 2019 in March and April on a cumulative basis.

Russian petrochemical giant Sibur raises $500m in 5-year eurobonds with a record-low 2.95% coupon

Ben Aris in Berlin July 1, 2020

Russian petrochemical giant Sibur Holding has issued a $500m 5-year eurobond on the Irish Stock Exchange with the lowest coupon yield ever for a Russian corporate of 2.95%, on June 30.

Russia’s June manufacturing PMI bounces back, recovers almost all coronacrisis lost ground

Ben Aris in Berlin July 1, 2020

The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Russia Manufacturing PMI bounced back in June at the end of the second quarter, recovering almost all the ground it has lost during the coronacrisis to post 49.4 at the end of the second quarter

Macron accuses Erdogan of massively importing jihadists into Libya

bne IntelIiNews June 30, 2020

Calls it a “criminal” intervention by “a country which claims to be a Nato member”.

Udokan: Alisher Usmanov’s Siberian copper valley

Ben Aris in Berlin June 30, 2020

With its launch scheduled for 2023, Siberia's Udokan copper deposit is among the largest in the world.

COVID-19 second wave strikes parts of emerging Europe

bne IntelliNews June 30, 2020

WHO warns of a “very serious resurgence” that risks pushing healthcare systems “to the brink” in 10 countries from the region after lockdowns were eased.

Letter to Putin exposes campaign against US investor Calvey

Jason Corcoran in Moscow June 29, 2020

Letters to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s powerful Federal Security Service (FSB) reveal how shareholders in Russian lender Vostochny Bank sought to smear US investor Michael Calvey

Claims of vote rigging accompany launch of voting in Russia’s constitutional referendum

Ben Aris in Berlin June 25, 2020

Russia started early voting in its controversial referendum on changes to the constitution on June 25 that will reset the presidential term counter for President Vladimir Putin to zero and allow him to remain in office until 2036.

One in three Russians would ignore a coronavirus vaccine even if one were available

bne IntelliNews June 24, 2020

One in three (37%) Russians would refuse to take a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) even if one were available, according to a survey conducted by Russia’s Higher School of Economics.

Restrictions come down again in emerging Europe as coronavirus cases surge

bne IntelliNews June 23, 2020

Several countries in emerging Europe have re-imposed lockdowns and border restrictions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus after reporting spikes in new infections.

Temperatures in Russia’s Arctic Circle rocketed to over 45C in the coldest town on earth, breaking all previous records on June 19

Ben Aris in Berlin June 23, 2020

This summer has turned into the hottest since record-keeping began, as towns that are usually still blanketed by snow are experiencing a blazing heat wave, thanks to the escalating climate crisis.

US fund manager Michael Calvey diagnosed with cancer, appealing against his house arrest

bne IntelliNews June 23, 2020

The embattled founder of Baring Vostok Capital Management, Michael Calvey, has reportedly been diagnosed with cancer, Kommersant reported on June 23.

The Moscow dining market has reached 65% of its pre-pandemic turnover

bne IntelliNews June 22, 2020

The Moscow dining market has reached 65% of its pre-pandemic turnover after limitations were gradually eased, and summer terraces fill up, according to Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who was photographed in a restaurant having dinner on June 18.

Telegram to create proxies to work in Iran

bne IntelIiNews June 22, 2020

Encrypted messaging app is hindered in Islamic Republic by official attempts to block it. Co-founder Pavel Durov says he refused to share user data with intelligence services.

Global pandemic is boon for ESG funds, outperforming their brown peers

Ben Aris in Berlin June 22, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a boon for environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds, 85% of which are now outperforming their non-ESG peers, according to a paper released by the Institute of International Finance (IIF)

Russia's CBR cuts key interest rate by decisive 100bp to 4.5%

bne IntelliNews June 19, 2020

The board of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has resolved to cut the key interest rate by 100bp from 5.5% to 4.5% at the policy meeting of June 19. The cut is four-fold larger than the minimum step of 25bp and was largely anticipated

China and Russia blur lines on “division of labour” in exerting influence over Central Asia

Kanat Shaku in Almaty June 18, 2020

Author of report from Washington think tank points to fading of traditional arrangement whereby Moscow takes care of security matters while Beijing takes care of the economic side.

COMMENT: Global remittances to suffer a blow from COVID-19

Gerelyn Terzo of Sharemoney in New York June 18, 2020

Instead of triggering an increase in remittance payments, which is typical during times of crisis, the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has caused migrant payments to households in developing countries to slow dramatically.

Russia’s Economy Ministry releases fresh forecasts for 2020 and beyond on June 18.

Ben Aris in Berlin June 18, 2020

Russia’s Ministry of Economy has released a fresh forecast for 2019-2022 with no V-shaped recovery but decent results for inflation and unemployment