As Russia Eats Through its Reserve Funds, Some Thoughts About Why They Matter

Slon.ru cites Mr. Nikolai Kasheev, Research and Analysis Director with Promsvyazbank, who talks about the relative weakness of Russian reserve funds. Similar funds exist in 44 countries including China, which operates four national funds with a total value of close to USD 1.5 trillion. Next in terms of value are the seven United Arab Emirates’ funds…

Russian Ministry of Finance to Reduce Subsidies to Regional Budgets by 15.5%

Russian business daily Vedomosti reports that the Russian Ministry of Finance plans to reduce subsidies to regional authorities by 15.5% in 2017.  One of the items that will be cut is that aimed at fulfilling President Putin’s executive order from May 2015 to increase the salaries in the public sector. Other subsidies will be cut…

Putin’s Assistant Complains About the Strengthening Ruble

Russian state news agency Interfax reported that President Putin’s adviser Andrey Belousov complained about the strengthening ruble.  Stronger ruble means lower income for the Russian central budget and damages the competitiveness of the Russian industry and agriculture, Belousov said. Lower demand for the local currency and a sharp decline in capital outflow in the second…

German and Chinese Consortia Bid for the Moscow-Kazan Railway Line

Russian daily Kommersant outlines the details of a German proposal to construct the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway line. The consortium of German companies that includes Siemens promised to invest in the concessionaire’s equity and provide more than EUR 2 billion in export credit financing. Total investment required to complete the second leg of the Nizhniy Novgorod-Kazan…

Higher Taxes for the Russian Gas Sector Remain in Force

According to the Russian edition of Forbes, the Russian Ministry of Finance decided to prolong the increased tax rate for gas companies for another year.  The oil sector is also expected to be taxed more heavily.  Although the information hasn’t been officially confirmed, it is reasonable to expect that the Russian government will do everything…

Russians Renounce Responsibility for the Country

Citing the Levada Center research institute, Kommersant reports that only a third of Russian citizens feel responsible for the developments in their country. However, a full 22% consider their responsibility to be insignificant. As many as 64% of the surveyed stated that they feel no responsibility for the fate of their land whatsoever. Only 22%…

Russian Trade Balance Worsening

Russian daily Kommersant reports that Russia’s trade balance in May decreased by half compared to the same month last year, to USD 7.53 billion.  Russia exported USD 21.97 billion worth of goods in May, or 28.3% less than a year ago.  Total imports to the country also decreased, by 5.52%, to USD 14.45 billion.  …

Credit Suisse to Shut Down its Private Banking Services in Russia

Referencing Forbes, Lenta.ru reports that Credit Suisse plans to close its private banking department in Russia.  The bank’s private banking clients in the country will have to move their assets to Switzerland if they wish to continue using respective services. Forbes quoted a Swiss banker who compared private banking in Russia to driving a Rolls-Royce…

Bentley and Lamborghini Sales in Russia Grow by More Than 20 Percent

Between January and May 2016, British luxury car maker Bentley sold 114 vehicles in Russia, a 27% increase over the same period last year.  Most of the cars were sold in Moscow and the surrounding region (73). Italian car maker Lamborghini is also doing quite well in Russia: while its worldwide sales in the first…

Russian Tourists in no Rush to Get to Turkey

 Gazeta.ru reports that Russian tour operators registered only an insignificant increase in travel to Turkey after President Putin lifted the ban on sales of organized tours to the country.  Since the coveted destination became accessible, only one of 20 inquiring potential Russian tourists actually bought a trip to Turkey.  A representative of a Russian tour operator stated…

Rusal to Supply Aluminum for the 3D Printing Market

Russian business daily Vedomosti reports that Rusal, one of the world’s largest aluminum producers, entered into an agreement with a German machine tools manufacturer DMG MORI to develop aluminum 3D printing technology.  Rusal will act as a supplier of aluminum powder to DMG MORI and its clients. The cost of aluminum and its compounds used…