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01.04.2021 12:57 CentroCredit Bank ranks 13th in terms of efficiency in 2020

According to the results of 2020, CentroCredit Bank ranked 13th in the "Most Effective Banks" rating compiled by the Kommersant publication. The management of the credit institution noted the final position as a good result, especially given the fact that many larger banks, including state-owned banks, were left behind. The rating includes the 100 best Russian banks and is calculated taking into account such an indicator as the ratio of profit to the average size of assets in the reporting year.

21.03.2021 14:55 Kazakhstan`s economy will grow in 2021

The prospects for the economy of Kazakhstan for 2021 look pretty good. This is evidenced by recent forecasts published by reputable world organizations. Thus, the rating agency Fitch predicts that the country`s GDP will grow to 3.5% in 2021 after falling by 2.6% in 2020 due to the gradual normalization of economic activity, which is facilitated by plans for vaccination against Covid-19. A World Bank report predicts that Kazakhstan`s economy will grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022. Analysts note that 2020 is the most difficult year for the economy of the former Soviet state in the last twenty years. The pandemic has hit harder than previous crises in 2008 and 2015, halting economic activity and weakening global demand and prices for oil, Kazakhstan`s main export commodity. In 2020, the economy of Kazakhstan contracted by 2.6%. Retail (-7.3%) and transportation (-17.2%) saw the largest drop in activity due to travel and economic restrictions, while mining also fell 3.7%. In contrast, construction (+ 11.2%) and agriculture (+ 5.6%) grew.

18.03.2021 15:55 What`s in store for gold in 2021?

In 2020, the global economy faced a new challenge - the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to economic recession in most countries. As a result of the lockdown, many small businesses were forced to close, retail sales fell, and the need for raw materials and energy products decreased. Meanwhile, just at the peak of the pandemic in the middle of the year, gold reached its all-time high of more than $2.06 thousand per ounce. The interest in the yellow metal was understandable: investors used it as a safe haven where they could ride out the hard times. In addition, unprecedented measures to support the economy by governments increased the money supply, which was partially directed, among other things, to the commodity sector. As the pandemic weakened, the price of gold corrected slightly, but experts believe that 2021 will be a good year for the metal.

17.03.2021 18:28 Institutions Bet Big On Bitcoin

According to data from the CME Group, the world`s largest futures and options exchange, bitcoin futures open interest - expressed in contract terms - grew by at least 100% for eight months in a row continuing through in February 2021. Furthermore, the capital tied up in these contracts grew at an exponential 1,405% annual rate from $156 million at the end of February 2020 to $2.34 billion a year later. This kind of growth is more than three times the heady 425% increase in bitcoin`s price over the last year and a further representation of the unprecedented level of demand for exposure to the asset class among institutional investors. What`s more, with bitcoin recently setting a new record above $61,000 and priced at $55,341 as of this writing, institutional interest in crypto and derivative products, such as CME futures, are poised to remain at elevated levels and perhaps grow higher.

12.02.2021 14:48 Russia: Economy contracts modestly in 2020, but challenges to recovery remain

Russian GDP dropped by 3.1% in 2020, faring relatively well thanks to budget support, small services segment, and lack of prior overheating. However, with fixed investments and household income at multi-year lows, and limited room for further stimulus, GDP recovery beyond the base effect would be a challenge. Analysts reiterate our 2.5% GDP forecast for 2021. The drop in GDP, according to the official first estimate, comes after 2.0% growth in 2019. This decline is better than market expectations of -3.5% to -4.0%. The State statistics service (Rosstat) has also provided the structure of annual GDP by usage and production, which generally confirms our initial take on the reasons for the Russian economy's defensive performance in 2020.

11.02.2021 13:00 Inflation in Russia is expected to be at 3.5-4.0% by the end of 2021

With CPI spiking 5.2% YoY in January and near-term context still pro-inflationary, further cuts in the 4.25% key rate are now unlikely. But as long as year-end CPI expectations are within the current 3.5-4.0%, and CPI risks in the EM space are under control, the Russian real rate is high enough for the central bank to avoid a key rate increase in 2021. Acceleration in the Russian CPI from 4.9% year-on-year in December 2020 to 5.2% YoY in January is slightly better than the market consensus of 5.3% YoY, but still this result is likely to call for more caution in the upcoming key rate decision by the Central Bank of Russia on 12 February. The overall CPI trajectory trails the upper range of expectations announced by the CBR at its December meeting.

28.01.2021 11:32 Russian industry: 2020 ended on an upbeat note

In 2020, industrial production dropped 2.9% YoY, almost entirely due to a drop in commodity extraction. Industries recovered dramatically by the year-end, helped by the consumer recovery, higher demand for electricity amid cold weather, and by a favourable calendar effect. The result is positive, but fiscal consolidation is a watch factor for 2021. According to preliminary data, Russian industrial production saw a very shallow 0.2% year-on-year drop in December 2020, which is significantly better than the -3.0% Reuters consensus. As a result of this and a 1.1 percentage point upgrade of the November number to -1.5% YoY, the full-year drop in industrial production was limited to -2.9% YoY, which is better than the -3.5% analysts expected.

30.12.2020 19:46 Russian consumers running out of steam while producers outperform

Russian activity and banking data for November confirm the deterioration of consumer sentiment but producers seem to have become more upbeat. With limited room for further fiscal and monetary support, GDP recovery prospects for 2021 appear modest. Retail trade in Russia dropped to -3.1% year-on-year in November following the 1-2% YoY drop seen between July-October. Although these numbers are better than our expectations and consensus, they still point towards a hiccup in consumer recovery. The substantial drop took place amid accelerating CPI, mainly due to higher food prices and a slowdown in nominal and real salary growth despite falling unemployment. We are particularly concerned that banking sector data shows a continued slowdown in retail deposit growth to 5.6% YoY (net of FX revaluation) in November from 6-7% in October, while retail lending growth also continues to slow down after a brief spike in October, but remains in double-digits. This suggests that a deterioration in consumption is taking place amid a declining savings rate and partly explains the recent announcement of additional social support measures.

14.12.2020 21:28 Russian activity: resilient in the face of the second wave

Despite the second wave of Covid-19, consumption resumed a recovery path in October, but this has come at the expense of a lower savings rate given increased underemployment. The corporate side appears stable, with construction volumes flat and corporate lending picking up. Yet analysts aren`t building their hopes up for the year-end and 2021 numbers. Retail trade growth continued to improve in October, with a drop of just 2.4% YoY being close to consensus expectations and better than -3.0% seen in September. The number is better than analysts suggested by the high frequency mobility and transaction indicators, which have been pointing at the negative impact of the pandemic resurgence that started in early to mid-October.

15.11.2020 13:53 Russian GDP improves thanks to local consumer demand

Russia`s GDP decline narrowed from -8.0% YoY in 2Q20 to -3.6% YoY in the third quarter, in line with our expectations. The positive effect of local consumption recovery outweighed the toll of the OPEC+ deal. In 4Q20, the recovery should not be as pronounced, but the full-year result should be close to expectations of -3.0% YoY. Household consumption was the primary driver of the improvement. A mid the lifting of the lockdowns in July and the socially-focused fiscal stimulus, the retail trade decline narrowed from -16.0% YoY in 2Q20 to -2.5% YoY in 3Q20. This should have added 4.0 percentage points to the GDP to the growth rate. The improvement in the consumer services segment has been more modest (from -40-50% YoY to -20-30% YoY respectively), but their importance to the GDP number is too small to matter. Meanwhile, high-frequency indicators point to a moderation in consumer recovery that analysts have seen since September due to renewed Covid-19 fears and end of the peak in fiscal stimulus.


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