This morning, it is reported that Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order for exporting corporations to repatriate part of their earnings. Russia had already seen ultra-light capital controls in the form of verbal persuasion, now it has gone a step further. Many of the country’s top banks have been warning that capital controls would be a disaster. I have been arguing the opposite. So, why is this good news? Continue reading
It has been a tumultuous ride for the ruble, which has fallen by forty percent against the dollar this year, and at one stage was down by nearly seventy percent. The population, unsurprisingly, is rushing to protect itself. The government has at times looked lost and confused, like a deer in the headlights as unimaginable price moves roll the market. What’s going on? Why has the ruble done the impossible, and what might we expect from it in 2015? Continue reading
When oil fell, this afternoon, through its recent low announcing a new leg down, the Russian equity market became a buy. It sounds odd, because Russia is highly dependent on oil, and usually moves in synch with it, oil falls, Russia falls. But here is why: Continue reading
The Russian market has reacted positively to yesterday’s meetings in Minsk to seek an end to the crisis, despite the media running fairly negative headlines, and no obvious signs of progress.
The headline billing is that Russia isn’t willing to scale back its support for the separatists, and Poroshenko comes across as the more humble of the two leaders, showing openness for a solution. (It remains unclear what more could be offered since his last peace plan, we’ll see.)
Why then is the Russian market doing well today? Continue reading
Troubling times call for a clear-headed understanding of the crisis, which the media sadly refuses to present. Contact me for advice on how to navigate the worst geopolitical crisis in a generation.
Without publicly delving into the politics, relations between Russia and the West have fallen to a shocking low, breaching commercial defences and entering the business sphere. For many years, companies have been gaining confidence, reaching beyond their borders, first to the near abroad then gradually moving further afield. In an era of surging globalisation, to many it felt easy. A few simple tools to avoid well publicised pitfalls, and you couldn’t go wrong. But now we see differently – the rise of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, and its subsequent strains on relations between Russia and the West expose that business internationalisation is far from the path of roses many have come to expect.
Have you expanded into Russia? Or been thinking about it? Are you in Eastern Europe or other parts of the CIS, and now worried about how the Russia-Ukraine crisis impacts your business?
Troubling times call for a clear-headed understanding of the crisis, which the media sadly refuses to present. Navigating these tricky waters requires a good chart, or the help an old-hand.
The political nature of the crisis makes it impossible for those of us in the know to blog-away as we usually might. But expert advice is available. Don’t hesitate to contact me for an in-depth briefing on the crisis, its causes, the probable outcomes and implications for your business. With insightful guidance from an old-Russia hand, your business can not only survive, but turn crisis into opportunity. Bespoke assistance is readily available!
My last two posts have pointed readers toward the rising risks of the Ukraine crisis, as it reaches a new phase. Writing in the FT, Niall Ferguson excellently stressed that the current trend, pushing Vladimir Putin to either back down or escalate is dangerous and unconstructive. True to form, after a brief 24 hour market breather, Ukraine was again credited with weighing on financial markets as the US closed last night.
Russia is now reported to have Continue reading
In its end of week notes, GS asks, if geopolitics explains the nervousness in markets that started on Thursday, then why did it only start then? For one of the world’s most astute investment organisations, this is an incredibly naive question.
The selling picked up on Thursday, but markets had been nervous for some time, and clearly the geopolitical situation is not static. On Tuesesday, the world processed the Continue reading
For months now, the Russia-Ukraine crisis has simmered behind the scenes for investors, gaining substantial airtime, but having a very limited impact on markets. Even the Russian market rebounded dramatically from its post Crimea annexation lows. Today it is falling again, as the crisis approaches its next phase. Continue reading
Check out my latest op-ed on The Moscow Times website, offering a perspective on what to do with your Russian exposure. Written primarily for Russia residents, but globally relevant.
Also, contact me directly for a detailed private analysis of the situation.
Some of my favourite commentators are insisting that there is nothing the EU can do about Russia’s activities in Ukraine, because it is so dependent on gas. I would argue that this is not the case. I would also suggest that irresponsible actions by the EU have antagonized the situation to it’s current critical impasse.
First, what can Europe do? Continue reading