Articles by Maria Levina



Missed Mortgage Payments Up 6-Fold

The number of homeowners missing payments on their mortgages more than sextupled in the first nine months of this year, the Central Bank said Wednesday, in a first indication of how badly the crisis was battering the mortgage market.

RenCap Sees RTS Above 1,000 in 2009

The RTS may have taken a beating this year, but Renaissance Capital said Tuesday that the index would end 2009 back above the 1,000 mark, or 46 percent higher than its Wednesday closing level of 688 points.

MICEX Suspends 3 Brokers Over Repos

MICEX said Monday that it suspended three brokerages -- UTrade.ru, Antanta-Capital and Melon -- from trading on the exchange for failing to meet obligations on repo deals.

Official Backtracks on 'Recession' Comment

Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach was forced to clarify his comments Friday after saying the country has entered a recession that might last through the first two quarters of 2009.

Reinventing Dance

The best of Russian contemporary dance go on show at the Tsekh festival.

GDP Posts Weakest Growth in 3 Years

Economic growth fell to its slowest rate in three years in the third quarter, at 6.2 percent, the State Statistics Service reported Tuesday, and economists say even lower growth is in store for 2009.

UBS Adapting Business Model for Tough Times

Hermann Prelle, UBS co-head of investment banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, lays out the bank's plans for Russia.

State Publishes New 4-Year Plan

The government on Tuesday published the strategic plan for the country’s development until 2012, which sets out detailed goals for Russia’s ministries in the economic and social spheres and will serve as the cornerstone of the long-term development plan through 2020.

Liquidity Slips Into Everyday Lexicon

Liquidity, a term rarely heard outside of boardrooms and brokerages just months ago, has been making its way into kitchen-table conversations, as a financial crisis catalyzed by the integration of global financial markets has come to threaten the country’s recent prosperity.

S&P Lowers Rating Of Russian Standard

Standard & Poor’s docked Russian Standard Bank’s long-term rating by one notch Thursday, lowering it to B+ from BB- in the first downgrade of a major domestic lender since the financial crisis began.

Call-Center Drama For One Person Only

An unusual offering from the New European Theatre Festival transports you across the globe with a single phone call. The thrill starts when one is brought into a hotel room and left sitting there wondering what will happen next, but where it ends is different for everyone.

Overdue Wages Soar 33% in October

Overdue wages soared 33 percent in October, reaching more than 4 billion rubles ($146 million), as the cash-strapped manufacturing, transportation, construction and agriculture sectors have begun delaying payments, the State Statistics Service said Wednesday.

National Projects Under Crisis Watch

The national projects, a state priority during Vladimir Putin’s last years as president that catapulted Dmitry Medvedev into the Kremlin, have taken a back seat since the presidential election and face being sidelined further as the financial crisis sets in.

Crisis Forces Banks To Sweeten Offers

One only has to look over Standard & PoorТs ratings list of commercial banks operating in Russia to see that lately life for them has been no slice of apple pie. Even some of the largest retail lenders have seen their outlooks cut and deposits wane, forcing banks to be creative Ч and unusually lavish Ч to keep customersТ cash on their books.

Grocers See Consolidation in Crisis

The financial crisis will present extraordinary consolidation opportunities for the food retail industry, the heads of X5 Retail Group and Dixy said at an investor conference Thursday.

RusAl Secures $4.5Bln Bailout

In the biggest state bailout yet, United Company RusAl will receive $4.5 billion to refinance a Western loan coming due this week, news reports said late Wednesday.

VEB Thrust Into the Role of Savior

Vneshekonombank, which does not even report to the Central Bank because it has no banking license, will soon take charge of $74 billion, or 14 percent of the country's reserves.

Killing With Art

The beautiful but deadly weapons of the Samurai go on show.

Investors See Slowdown Through 2009

The mood was mixed at an annual investment forum in Moscow on Wednesday, with most speakers agreeing that economic growth would slow as the effects of the global financial crisis creep into real sectors of the economy.

A Silver Lining for Lovers of the Silver Screen

While the global economic downturn has businesspeople in many sectors wondering whether they will survive, many of the people in the countryТs film industry seem to believe that a little belt-tightening could actually help.

Stocks Climb 4% on Hopes of OPEC Cuts

The country's stock markets closed on a peaceful note Monday, gaining more than 4 percent in response to an upcoming meeting of OPEC countries, where production cuts aimed at holding the price of oil at $70 per barrel are to be discussed.

9 Airlines Grounded Over Unpaid Debts

Problems at three of the airlines, Interavia, Dalavia and Omskavia, have already left hundreds of passengers stranded.

Lobbyists Want Changes to Tax Code

While the government's attention may be riveted to immediate economic and market stimulation measures, the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was focusing Wednesday on measures to help the country's economy in the longer term.

Gearing Up for a Shortage Of Jobs

Massive layoffs have not started, but companies and employees are preparing themselves for the possible consequences of the financial crisis and a slowdown in growth across most sectors.

Investment Banks Struggle to Adapt

  • 10 October 08
  • Staff Writers
After almost a decade of lightning-quick growth and skyrocketing salaries, Russia's investment banking sector has been brought down to earth with a thud by the global financial crisis.

Modern Theater On Show At Festival

The Territory festival turns Moscow into a bustling theater workshop each October, offering aficionados a chance to see the latest in contemporary theater.

Risky Lenders Told Not to Expect Help

Russian banks were told last year that they were engaging in dangerous lending practices, and the Central Bank is prepared to go only so far to help them out of their difficulties now, a senior Central Bank official said Thursday.

Bailout Package Seen Not Saving All Banks

Despite the bank bailout package swiftly introduced by the government, many Russian banks will face liquidity pressures and falling profitability as access to credit stays limited and rising rates lead to fewer loans and more defaults, banking analysts said Wednesday.