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MACRO ADVISER: Six reasons why Russia does not want a higher oil price

Russia is the world’s biggest oil exporter (with crude and oil products combined) and it is earning approximately $5bn more per month with the price of oil in the mid $60s than it would with a price in the mid $40s, the level at which the federal budget is based. So why does it appear the government is not comfortable with the current oil price, which surged from just over $50 per barrel in early October to just under $64 on the back of rising tensions in the Middle East? And why it may not agree to an extension of the production deal with Opec, in an effort to bring the price back below $60?

BNE Business New Europe

Russia and Saudi Arabia have much to gain from improving relationship

It has been widely reported that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will lead a large delegation of officials and business leaders from the kingdom to Moscow in early October. King Salman does not do courtesy calls so it can be reasonably assumed that his first official visit to the Russian capital is a serious event and we should expect to hear of some substantial investment deals and/or a deepening of the political relationship. Even without the king’s presence, the planned delegation is the biggest ever from the kingdom to Russia and that in itself shows very serious intent.

BNE Business New Europe

August & Sanctions: What could possibly go wrong?

The five most feared words for Russia watchers? It’s August, time to relax. While August is the month when most people take vacations or retreat to the dachas outside of the big cities, it is also the month when major accidents, acts of nature or political events occur more often than in any other month. Of course, there isn’t any mathematical evidence to support that, but it doesn’t matter; the perception is that if something big is going to happen, it will more often than not be in August.

BNE Business New Europe

Putin Has Good News on Russia Economy

Macro Advisory Senior Partner and founder Chris Weafer speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance” about in Russia President Vladimir Putin’s annual televised press conference and discusses his outlook for the markets.

Bloomberg

Russia Won’t Deliver on Oil Production Cut

Macro Advisory Senior Partner and founder Chris Weafer discusses OPEC’s deal on oil production cuts on “Bloomberg Surveillance”.

Bloomberg

The billion-dollar gold rush to tap into Iranian oil

Energy companies from around the world are chasing Iranian oil-development deals after the nation unveiled a new model contract for foreign investors.

CNBC

Macro Advisory’s Chris Weafer talks to Oil & Money

Chris Weafer explains what sanctions and a falling oil price mean for Russia and the oil sector.

Energy Intelligence

Don’t Worry When the Stock Market Goes Crazy After Election

Russia’s Rising Oil-Output Forecasts Give Leverage in OPEC Talks.

Bloomberg

Russian Economy Is Putin’s Greater Priority

Christopher Weafer examines relations between the United States and Russia ahead of the U.S. presidential election on “Bloomberg Surveillance”.

Bloomberg

Ukraine must choose between continued progress or disruption and risk

Chris Weafer discusses Ukraine’s economic performance on the FT’s beyondbrics blog.

Financial Times

In Putin’s Parliament, Plunging Support Is No Bar to Power

Ruling parties hoping to get re-elected during a prolonged recession usually pitch fresh ideas for easing the population’s economic pain. But that’s not how Vladimir Putin’s party operates.

Bloomberg

Putin to Be More Assertive at This G-20

Christopher Weafer discusses Russian President Vladimir Putin’s relationship with the West ahead of this year’s G-20 meeting, the hacking of DNC e-mails, and looks at Putin’s leadership of Russia on “Bloomberg Surveillance”.

Bloomberg

Russia hopeful that sanctions will end: Expert

Chris Weafer, senior partner at Macro-Advisory, says Moscow is hoping Europe will end financial sanctions against Russia.

CNBC

Window on the East – G7 summit

Russian sanctions to end in 6 months while oil price to fall after this week’s OPEC summit, say bne IntelliNews analysts in this new podcast.

BNE Intellinews

Busy June means Russia risk premium to change

Late May to end June is shaping up to be a busy and very important period for global markets with implications for Russia.

BNE Intellinews

USD Assets To Dominate

The ECB have been clear, unlike the FOMC who have been ‘flip flopping’.

Dukascopy TV

Dubai CIS Global Business Forum, March 2016

A summary of memorable points from the first day’s sessions – and an overview of the second day.

Dubai Chamber

Mongolia: Time To Rethink Your Risk Assessment

Chris Weafer assesses the state of Mongolia’s economy for The Financial Times.

Financial Times

Mongolia: Time to rethink your risk assessment?

Even within a troubled emerging market asset class, the case for Mongolia looks grim.

Financial Times

Russia would be better off if oil were to dive lower over short term

Assuming a scenario of weaker oil near-term and a rally in the second half, what does that do to the ruble exchange rate and the Russian economy in 2016?

BNE Intellinews

Will Russia sell stakes in VTB and Sberbank?

Chris Weafer appeared on CNBC in January 2016 to discuss the possibility of a sale of Russian state assets.

CNBC

Will Russia sell stakes in VTB and Sberbank?

With only a set amount of money to work with in retirement, here’s how to avoid using too much too soon.

CNBC

Russia – Geopolitics and the New Global Investment Land

Christopher Weafer provided an up-to-date top-down assessment of Russia’s political and economic environment.

PKF O'Connor Davies

Can Russia remain stable with oil at $30?

Investors in Russian equity and debt enjoyed, on average, a relatively better year than peers in other major emerging markets.

Financial Times

A Look Ahead to Russia’s Rate Decision

Christopher Weafer, Alan Higgins, chief investment officer at Coutts & Co, and Bloomberg’s Ryan Chilcote discuss Russia’s rate decision and its impact on oil and the ruble. They speak to Bloomberg’s Manus Cranny on “Countdown.”

Bloomberg

A look ahead to Russia’s rate decision

Christopher Weafer discusses Russia’s rate decision and its impact on oil and the ruble on Bloomberg’s “Countdown”.

Bloomberg

After a tough 2015, how may 2016 shape us?

No matter how you slice and dice 2015, it was a tough year for Russia Inc.

Moscow Expat Life

Keeping an eye on Russia’s financial markets

Those promoting good news from Russia are focused on the fact that Russia’s equity indices are among the best performing in the world this year.

The Moscow Times

Explanining Russia’s New Normal

One of the slogans now regularly deployed to describe Russia’s current economic condition and what comes next is the “new normal”.

BNE Business New Europe

Book review: Best books about Russia of the past 25 years

A great many books about Russia are published each year. Most are entertaining and informative in some respect.

BNE Business New Europe

Waiting for oil recovery is not an option this time

Any discussion about Russia quickly reveals a greater degree of polarization in opinions than is the case with most other topics

World Finance Review

For investors in Russia, just two things matter

As always, there is a great deal of noise around the Russia story and that makes it difficult for investors to identify the core issues with the greatest impact on risk.

Financial Times

No end in sight to the ruble’s downward slide

That Russian GDP contracted by 4.6 percent in the second quarter comes as no surprise. That is a preliminary estimate and may well end up closer to a 5 percent decline when the second reading is published.

The Moscow Times

Russia measures simply about survival

Russia’s “clumsy” measures to dampen inflation are merely about survival, according to Chris Weafer on Bloomberg’s “Countdown”.

Bloomberg

Book review: “We are in power; that is democracy”

It has not been published with the fanfare and publicity afforded to many books which are critical of Russia but, for those who really want to understand modern Russia and get an unbiased view of the political evolution, this book fits right into that category.

Book review: The reform team that shocked Russia

Yegor Gaidar, who died in December 2009 aged 54, is one of the most divisive figures in the history of modern Russia

BNE Business New Europe

Why Russians fear August

August is the main vacation month and should, therefore, be the most eagerly anticipated month of the year

BNE Business New Europe

Situation gets worse (Chris Weafer interview in German)

Is the term ‘default’ the new trend word for the year 2015?

Dukascopy TV

How much have sanctions really hurt Russia?

Next month marks one year since the beginning of the more serious phase of Western sanctions against the Russian economy and Moscow’s retaliatory action to ban some imported foods.

The Moscow Times

Could sanctions actually make Russia stronger?

When sanctions were placed on Russia as a result of annexing Crimea various top-level officials in the country said Russia could become stronger as a result. Bloomberg spoke with Chris Weafer about whether this could be true.

Bloomberg

MACRO ADVISER: China: Grandmaster of Great Game II (Central Asia)

At stake for China is nothing short of its ability to push beyond being the dominant regional power in Asia to become a global superpower.

BNE Business New Europe

Where are oil and the ruble going next?

The strong rally in the oil price over the past four months has confounded most forecasters.

The Moscow Times

Russia is being forced to face up to harsh economic realities

The headline results for Russia’s economy though the 1st quarter, while confi rming that the country will likely see a contraction of between 3 and 4 percent for this year, show a relatively better picture than had been feared late last year.

World Finance Review

Like it or not, Russian economy needs western businesses

The May 9 parade through Red Square traditionally celebrates the end of the Great Patriotic War and this year, being the 70th anniversary of the event, is particularly special.

The Moscow Times

Is the Iran deal good or bad for Russia?

It is far too early to assume last week’s framework agreement between Iran and the six world powers will lead to a permanent deal governing how Iran develops its nuclear industry.

The Moscow Times

In Eurasia, devaluation is first line of defence

Russia is not the only economy suffering from the combination of the oil price collapse and sanctions; most of the countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are also feeling the pain.

BNE Business New Europe

A March blip or was the Russia rally premature?

Russian equities bounded out of the starting gate after the January holidays and by end-February the main indices were the best performing in the world, having appreciated by greater than 20%.

BNE Business New Europe

International Hotel Conference in Moscow

Chris Weafer speaks at the 2015 International Hotel Conference in Moscow

It’s the economy, stupid

Bill Clinton famously won the first of his two presidential elections using the slogan: “It’s the economy, stupid”.

BNE Business New Europe

Is investor optimism about Russia justified?

While the economic indicators are set to worsen considerably over the next few months, investors have become a lot more sanguine about Russia risk. S

The Moscow Times

Can the ruble maintain its recent rally?

Over the past four weeks the ruble’s exchange rate against the U.S. dollar has recovered by over 12 percent to a rate of 60.5 at the end of last week.

A tough 2015 is unavoidable

There is currently a lot of noise about the Russian economy and almost all of it is bad. Many commentators predict that a catastrophe lies ahead and the economic destruction will lead to social instability and eventually a political crisis.

The Moscow Times

Will the crisis be a wake-up call to reform the Russian economy?

2014 was a tough year for Russia’s economy and ended with a great deal of valid pessimism that 2015 will be worse.

European Leadership Network

Weak ruble protects the economy

Although not saying so publicly, the Kremlin has adopted a deliberate strategy – to let the rouble continue falling and accept the painful economic consequences over the medium term as the “lesser of two evils.”

Open Democracy

The oil price is all that matters regarding Russia

The key takeaway concerning the economy and the ruble from President Vladimir Putin’s press conference on December 18 is that the Kremlin does not have any strategy or plan to try and pull out of this slump or to halt the decline in the ruble.

BNE Business New Europe

Russian equities – time to buy?

Russian asset prices have taken a severe battering this year and are now ranked as among the cheapest in the world.

Chris Weafer interview for Swiss TV

Christopher Weafer tells Ducascopy TV that the Central Bank needs to act for the ruble to fluctuate freely.

Dukascopy TV

South Stream cancellation hits Europe hardest

Russia’s plan to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to Europe was a bad commercial decision.

The Moscow Times

Is the ruble a basket-case or over-sold?

At mid-session on the first trading day of December, the ruble had declined by 60% against the US dollar since the start of the year (over 70% since the start of 2013), and was down 45% against the euro (55% since January 2013).

BNE Business New Europe

Russia’s future jeopardised by OPEC’s decline

Decisions taken by OPEC, whether this week or in the coming months, will have a direct impact on several of Russia’s key economic indicators and how the country survives Western sanctions.

The Moscow Times

2015 looks likely to be Russian economy’s “Annus Horribilis”

For the economy and companies operating in Russia, 2015 is looking increasingly likely to be more deserving of the dubious title.

BNE Business New Europe

MACRO ADVISER: Putin’s Nevsky – Stolypin tandem

Many of the headlines about Russia in recent months have quite rightly focused on the geopolitical risks and the sanctions impact on the economy.

BNE Business New Europe

MACRO ADVISER: Life in Russia with $80 oil

For commentators with more of a political than energy bias, the explanation for the sudden price collapse of oil is because of collusion between the US and Saudi Arabia to damage their respective enemies, Russia and Iran.

BNE Business New Europe

Oil and US Dollar will decide Ruble’s fate

The ruble has lost more than a fifth of its value since the start of the year and is a third lower than the rate 18 months ago.

The Moscow Times

MACRO ADVISER: Russia has eager new oil and gas customers in Asia

The main focus of Western sanctions against Russia has been to cause disruption to the banking and oil sectors.

BNE Business New Europe

Ruble is the latest casualty in Ukraine crisis

This year, amid the noise of war in Ukraine and the escalation of sanctions by Russia and the West, the Russian Central Bank has made a significant change in the way it manages the ruble exchange rate.

The Moscow Times

Russia’s crisis offers opportunities

Despite earlier bravado from some Russian politicians that sanctions would have only a modest effect on the economy, the negative impact is now becoming very clear and serious.

The Sunday Business Post

Russia has earned its place in the BRICS Bank

In 2001 Goldman Sachs strategist Jim O’Neill first proposed the acronym BRIC to group together Brazil, Russia, India and China, four of the world’s fastest-growing economies. In 2010 South Africa joined the group, changing the acronym to BRICS.

The Moscow Times

Self-Sanctions: the real damage to Russia’s economy

It is tempting to conclude that the sanctions imposed on named individuals and some companies in Russia have had zero impact on the broader economy.

European Leadership Network

It’s the Economy, Mr. President

Bill Clinton famously won the first of his two presidential elections using the slogan: “It’s the economy, stupid”.

The Moscow Times

Russia needs to pivot East and West

For too many people in government, the simple solution to an increasingly difficult relationship with Western countries will likely be to turn East —

The Moscow Times

Why Russia isn’t afraid of US gas exports

During his recent speech in Brussels, U.S. President Barack Obama said the U.S. could soon become a major supplier of gas to Europe and allow countries that are currently “hostage” to gas imports from Russia to have an alternative supply source at a cheaper price.

The Moscow Times

Two sides to every weak ruble

The ruble has dropped almost 8 percent against the dollar and lost just more than 6 percent against the euro since the start of the year.

The Moscow Times

Still betting on oil conflicts

The U.S. still needs to import 9 million barrels every day to satisfy current demand. It is still a long way from energy independence.

The Moscow Times

Russia in review: 2013

2013 was a very mixed year for investors and businesses in Russia.

Macro-Advisory

Khodorkovsky pardon bodes well for economy

Finally drawing a line under what has been one of the most egregious incidents in Russia’s modern history can be viewed as part of a new reform focus.

The Moscow Times

Russia’s path to progress goes through OECD

If Russia is to make progress in boosting inward investment and attracting more foreign businesses, the OECD is a club which the country needs to join sooner rather than later.

The Moscow Times

Trying to save a sputtering economy

With the expected technical recovery this quarter, Russia will be lucky to achieve growth of even 1.5 percent for the full year.

The Moscow Times

Losing No.1 oil spot is least of Russia’s troubles

The message could not be clearer: Russia’s Achilles’ heel is energy, and the U.S. has it in its sights.

The Moscow Times

Russia: A Tough Place to Do Business, A Great Place to Make Money

Chris Weafer is a guest speaker at CERBA’s TGF 2013 conference.

Russia’s economy: Not as insulated as it thinks

Over the past couple of weeks, the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, and the World Bank have issued revised global economic forecasts for this year and for 2014.

The Moscow Times

Russia’s strong balance sheet only goes so far

At the start of this year, it was generally accepted that 2013 was likely to be a year of consolidation for the global economy

The Moscow Times

Terraforming Russia’s economy

Adventurous investors help “terraform” Russia, making it “habitable” for investment.

The Moscow Times

Why Russia should be wary of the fed

If the Federal Reserve curtails its quantitative easing program, it will have an impact on the wealth of Russians.

The Moscow Times

WTO’s tough medicine is good for Russia

Is WTO membership actually a really bad idea for the country, as many of the vocal critics are now shouting?

The Moscow Times

Shaking off that “Cheap For a Reason” label

One of the reasons cited by government officials to explain the recent scaling back of the privatization program is because Russian equities are far too cheaply priced to justify a sale at this time.

The Moscow Times

Less privatisation means more economic woes

Few were surprised when the Russian government announced last week that the program to privatize state assets had been considerably scaled back.

The Moscow Times

It will take more than JPMorgan to get an A Rating

The core of the argument taking place at the top of government right now is about how to boost mid- and long-term economic growth.

The Moscow Times

Russia, OPEC face shale gas challenge

OPEC is facing its biggest ever challenge with the projected huge growth of shale gas and non-conventional oil .

New Europe

Amnesty could boost the investment climate

The government is finally about to start addressing the third of the so-called troika of issues which business managers and investors have consistently cited as the main reasons preventing the increase in much-needed investment.

The Moscow Times

No business as usual for Russia in Venezuela

Chavez’s death and the emergence of a new presidential administration will surely have a significant impact on the global oil industry.

The Moscow Times