Browsing documents with the theme of Macroeconomics
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Russia Macro Monthly: Pension Reform and its Discontents
Russia hosts good World Cup. Despite our headline in the June Monthly, Russia’s football team exceeded all expectations. The hosting of the event also confounded critics. However, optimism that this may lead to reform acceleration or, e.g. a much easier tourist regime, and thus boost tourism, is unfounded at this stage.
Pensions reform backlash. Opinion polls show a large majority of Russians are unhappy with the proposal to raise the retirement age. Putin is likely to wait until the extent of public feeling can better be gauged in the autumn before making a final decision. He has never pushed a genuinely unpopular reform because of the instability risk.
Russia Macro Monthly June 2018: Will the new government team fare better than the nation’s footballers?
New government, new challenges. Prime Minister Medvedev unveiled a government with a few new faces, and a plan to deploy RUB8 trillion (US$129 ln) on national projects on health, education construction, and the digital economy.
Kudrin given oversight role. Alexei Kudrin will head the Audit Chamber. Kudrin has regularly stated that he would never take a non-job in government so it is expected that he will make the Audit Chamber a more vocal agency and have a greater role in budget spending oversight.
Macro-Advisory May 2018 Monthly – Now for The Hard(er) Part
New-old government. As expected, Prime Minister Medvedev is to remain in his job. There are some significant changes amongst deputy PMs, indicating a need for a new approach, which may be interpreted as signaling more spending on health, education and infrastructure.
Need to focus on the economy. Polls show that while people strongly support the president they are increasingly critical of the economic performance. It is clear that if Putin wants to retain public support during this next term, he will need to focus more on the economy.
Kazakhstan Update – The Twin Peaks Challenge
Strong growth based on oil. Kazakhstan’s economy grew by 4% YoY last year (from 1% in 2016) and looks set to replicate that strong growth again this year. The key driver of last year’s recovery and this year’s expected growth is the combination of rising oil output and the oil price recovery.
Macro Monthly – What Difference Do April Sanctions Make?
Sanctions game-changer. The 6 April US sanctions were something of a game-changer as they targeted some oligarchs and their businesses. Investors and businesses are likely to adopt a more cautious approach to Russia for some time until the risk level is better understood.
Russia’s bank sector consolidation continues … creating opportunities
The Central Bank of Russia continues to cull bad banks. The recent nationalization of 3 large private banks seems to mark the beginning of the end of this process. The sector will remain tightly regulated and the remaining private banks should not be allowed to get themselves into the same bad situation. Investors should do careful due diligence on partner banks in the region, and any decision by local staff not to use a state bank or foreign-owned bank should be carefully reviewed.
Russia Macro Monthly: Can continuity lead to change?
In lieu of a concrete election program, the President made a late annual state-of-the-nation speech that laid out a liberal economic vision and tough foreign policy. The latter appears to be more electoral posturing than a major change in nuclear doctrine. We set out the main economic points and those with implication for business opportunities, in this monthly.
Will 2018 prove to be a turning point?
2017 growth at 1.5%. Rosstat estimates last year’s GDP growth at 1.5%. A weakening industrial production trend was offset by stronger growth in agriculture and a recovery in retail sales. VEB estimates Q4 growth at 0.6%, down from +1.8% in Q3 and 2.5% in Q2.
Russia’s Capital Markets in 2018: Riders on the Storm
Well positioned. Russian assets are well positioned to outperform global peers in 2018. For equities whether that means strong price appreciation or another year of flat performance will be determined by the trend in global markets. Russian equity indices will hardly rise against a decline in global markets but should outperform a global rising trend.
Macro-Advisory 2018 Political Outlook
Outlook for 2018. There is no reasonable basis to assume there will be any major changes in Russian politics in 2018. We think there is at best a 25% chance that Putin will use his new mandate to implement the major reforms that Russia needs to move to a better economic growth path. More likely he will choose stability because it is lower risk. Speculation will then move to what happens in 2024. Who will Putin choose to succeed him, will that choice be challenged, and what role will Putin have thereafter?
Russia Macro-Politics December Monthly: Tempered holiday mood
Investors and government are waiting for sanctions. The CAATS act requires that the US government must draw up a list of “Putin’s inner circle” to be sanctioned and to report on the viability of bans on purchases of Russian debt by the end of January 2018. Capital markets are largely flat with low volumes as investors wait to see what happens next in Q1 or 1H18. Russian indices are set to underperform global peers by approximately 30% this year.
Russian Agriculture Growth: Can Russia feed the world?
The Russian agricultural sector is growing quickly helped by protection from imports and significant investment. It is likely to continue to grow as infrastructure bottlenecks are addressed. This offers significant opportunities for investors as this is one of the few natural resource sectors where foreign investment is encouraged. The government is keen to encourage both exports and processing domestically.