As we prepare to get stuck into 2012 the Eurozone remains in a lingering crisis potentially threatening not only a British recovery but also worrying for Russia which has a significant portion of its reserves stored in Euros. Considerable informed backing is coming from bankers for an orderly break-up of the Eurozone with Greece and Italy tipped to withdraw rather than succumb to the diktats of austerity that the Merkozy duo want to impose.
The Putin regime has little to fear from the latest public protests which, despite drawing large crowds, are apolitical. True politics will only become possible in Russia when both the opposition and the regime focus on the tedious work of practical politics, says Nicolai N. Petro in his highly-personalized view of recent events.
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> Robust economic performance. Retail sales rose 6.9% over 11m11. The annual figure will be close to 7.0%, the best result since the 2008 crisis. Investment climbed 5.6% in 11m11 and annual investment growth is expected at or slightly below 6.0%. Economic growth in 2011 will reach 4.5% if not more.
> Weekly inflation in Russia has stabilized at 0.1%. From December 1-26, the CPI rose by 0.4%, while a year earlier inflation was at 1.0%. YTD inflation was at 6.1% (8.7% a year earlier), implying that annual inflation will not exceed 6.2% (8.8% in 2010). This will be the best result ever observed in modern Russia during a calendar year, achieved due to monetary tightening.
> Liquidity tightening. The voluntary reserves of the banking system were evaporating in 1H11, as the Central Bank reduced gross international reserves accumulation. Quite logically, demand for refinancing increased in autumn; the Central Bank became more active, while the Finance Ministry decreased lending to banks in the form of deposits. We expect rates on the money market to move with the Central Bank's rates. As inflation decelerated, downward movement is possible in 2012.
Evgeny Gavrilenko, CEO and Chief Economist, Troika Dialogue
The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee today named Baltika Breweries as the official beer supplier to the Winter Games after President and CEO, Dmitry Chernyshenko, signed an agreement with Isaac Sheps, CEO of Baltika Breweries and Senior Vice President of Eastern European region, Carlsberg Group.
Baltika will now be able to use its official Sochi 2014 supplier status in marketing communications and on product packaging. Baltika owns 10 beer breweries across Russia and has a market share of 37,8%, with beer products available at 98% of points of sale around the country. The company is a prominent advocate of responsible drinking and works hard to promote its products in harmony with an active, healthy lifestyle.
In January this year, Russia’s new Ambassador to Britain Alexander Yakovenko arrived in London, and in November, the UK’s new Ambassador to Russia Timothy Earle Barrow arrived in Moscow. In the early 90s, Mr.Barrow served as second secretary at the British Embassy in Moscow. Given the new ambassadors, relations between Russia and the UK should follow a new course too and this new course should not be worse than the previous one particularly since bilateral ties have seen a dramatic improvement in recent years.