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VTB Capital

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  • As universal lenders retreat from key markets, VTB Capital is pushing hard into industries that will increasingly define the 21st century, from ports services to infrastructure and logistics, building strong and enduring relations with a host of powerful corporates in the global ascendancy.
  • The latest RUSSIA CALLING! forum, held by VTB Capital in Moscow, proved to be another unalloyed success.
  • Trailblazing software specialist InfoWatch has long been one of Russia’s brightest tech-sector prospects. Spun out of software giant Kaspersky Lab more than a decade ago, it now bestrides the industry, helping leading Russian and global firms to combat cyber-attacks and protect against internal breaches. We spoke to InfoWatch CEO and founder Natalya Kaspersky about the firm’s – and Russia’s – increasingly bright future.
  • Russia and China are entering a golden age, as the two superpowers finesse political relations, boost the mutual use of one another's currencies and forge profitable new bilateral trade routes. An economic relationship that could define the 21st century is beginning to come of age.
  • Public-private partnerships are all the rage in Russia, with toll roads, motorways, airports and medical facilities springing up around the country. New PPP legislation passed this year, which protects the right of all investors, is expected to boost interest even further, dragging in global capital in the years and decades to come as Russia looks to fill a $1 trillion infrastructure gap.
  • Russia's debt and equity capital markets are rebounding fast, along with a resurgent onshore and cross-border M&A industry. At RUSSIA CALLING!, VTB Capital is laying the groundwork for multinational firms seeking to invest in the resurgent economy, helping investors to accelerate regional growth, and identifying emerging trends in the domestic and offshore DCM and ECM, along with a host of other business and investment opportunities.
  • Russia's economy is over the worst and on the mend. Economic growth might have dipped as oil prices tumbled, but a weaker rouble also meant higher exports and a more competitive economy. The next big step is to return the country to growth, with gross domestic product set to turn positive in 2016, ahead of schedule.
  • At the start of 2000, a reputable economic magazine referred to Africa as the ‘hopeless’ continent – a comment that may not have seemed controversial at the time. However, more than a decade later, the picture couldn’t be more different. ‘Africa Rising’ was the new message of the day.
  • Large international investors continue to closely monitor Russian issuers and are ready to invest if their requirements are met, as demonstrated by two recent deals successfully brought to the market.
  • EU policymakers need to speak directly to the Greek people – and those of Spain, Portugal and Ireland – and convince them that they have a vision for the eurozone that includes them as equals, not serfs.
  • The end of 2014 has seen considerable turbulence in many emerging market (EM) economies, particularly those most reliant on oil – directly or indirectly. This is a reminder that the secular rise of EMs is not a linear phenomenon.
  • There is an elevated risk of a global recession in 2015 given eurozone stagflation, setbacks in Japan, a debt-ridden China, the risk of the oil-price collapse triggering geopolitical risk and diminishing returns from G7 monetary stimulus.
  • Urbanisation, a positive framework for private-sector participation and pro-active government policies will ensure emerging markets (EMs), from the Brics to Thailand, will boost their share of global spending on infrastructure and capital projects over the next decade.
  • Russian banks, in general, benefit from limited external funding, manageable debt maturities and state support when needed. However, loan expansion, Basle III and volatile capital flows have reinforced the need to recapitalize the sector, particularly through common equity and hybrid debt. Structural reforms and the development of alternative pools are needed.
  • In today’s world of economic uncertainty, business leaders seek assurances and encouragement for their decisions. Engaging with key figures allows them to drive forward their businesses and the overall global economy to a better and more stable future: ‘Russia Calling!’ has established itself as a leading facilitator of this dialogue.
  • Asian corporate bond markets saw phenomenal growth after the financial crisis, and Asian corporates are increasingly turning to growing capital markets, made available by strong global liquidity, to efficiently fund expansion opportunities.
  • The 30-year, $400 billion China-Russia gas deal – which will turbo-charge economic ties, more generally, from infrastructure finance, FDI and currency diversification – heralds a shift in the centre of global economic gravity.
  • Thanks to a pick-up in manufacturing, consumer demand and inventory restocking, commodity prices have started to stage a rebound while technicals also support a recovery. Investors should address large underweight positions in the sector.
  • The Fed and the Bank of England should consider hiking rates this year, thanks to the economic recovery. The later the hike, the worse the credit bubble. However, the eurozone economy remains dangerously barren thanks to Germany’s fiscal scarcity.