It’s official. The Duma has confirmed Vladimir Putin’s pick, Elvira Nabiullina, as Russia’s next central banker with a vote of 360 in support, 20 against and one abstaining.
Nabiullina will be the first female central banker for a G8 country. But for investors the more important question is how dovish she will be when it comes to interest rates and economic growth. Continue reading »
Russia’s consumer spending spree could be ending in tears. A credit-fuelled surge has led households to rack up unprecedented levels of consumer debt – so much so that in 2012 some 80 per cent of new consumer loans (excluding mortgages) are going towards interest on existing debt. This cannot go on.
“In Russia, the macro-economic risks are small,” says Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfabank, “But the risks in the banking sector are accumulating. Retail lending is becoming a high-risk segment.” Continue reading »
Russia’s central bank kept its policy interest rates unchanged on Friday morning, as widely expected. But the non-event is worth noticing as it shows the Russian economy moving into its post-election phase – ie, one of slower growth. Continue reading »