September 22, 2021

Russian economy ‘completely restored’ to pre-pandemic level – Putin

“Based on the results of the seven months of this year, the gross domestic product has reached the pre-crisis level. The decline that was caused by the pandemic has been fully overcome,” the president said.

He pointed out that industrial growth in the country during the January-July period amounted to 4.4%.

At the same time manufacturing industries showed growth of 5.6%, Putin said.

“The volume of investments in fixed assets increased by 7.3% year-on-year in the first half of the year, which shows the positive mood of business and investors,” he added.

Also on Russian stocks booming as ruble becomes best-performing emerging market currency

The president has set a task for the government to restore employment to the 2019 level by the end of 2021.

“What I want to say is that now, in the post-crisis phase, it is necessary to form a model of sustainable economic development, which could fully cover all the industries and regions of Russia… And, of course, economic growth is the key to successful implementation of state plans and projects, and achievement of national development goals,” Putin concluded.

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Russia’s GDP growth expected to reach 4.2% this year

The recovery of the Russian economy after a rather difficult period is becoming more and more stable. By the end of this year, we expect GDP growth at 4.2%. This suggests that anti-crisis measures have proved their effectiveness,” Mishustin said.

Also on Russian economy surpasses earlier estimates to reach 10.5% growth in second quarter of 2021 – Rosstat

Earlier, Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development published its own forecast, stating the same figure for Russia’s GDP in 2021 and predicting a further 3% growth in 2022. According to the head of the department, Maxim Reshetnikov, with the gradual withdrawal from the OPEC + oil output deal set for 2022, the country’s oil industry will be restored to pre-pandemic level and contribute to GDP growth.

Meanwhile, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also improved its outlook for Russia’s GDP growth in 2022 to 3.4%, which is 0.6% higher than its May estimates.

Also on Inflation hits five-year high in Russia, sending cost of living prices for basic goods soaring ahead of parliamentary elections

In its September report published on Tuesday, the OECD noted that Russia, as well as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey, saw “unexpected increases in inflation” that “will continue for some time.” However, it also stated that “tightening monetary conditions in many of these countries should nevertheless help curb domestic price pressures, especially by the second half of 2022.

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Turkey in talks on new gas supplies from Russia – Ankara

This year will be very difficult for all of us. But we are on good terms with our current suppliers, such as Azerbaijan and Russia. We are discussing new volumes of supplies, new contracts, because some contracts, for example, with [Russian state-run energy giant] Gazprom, expire at the end of the year,” Alparslan Bayraktar told reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing Gastech international conference in Dubai.

Also on Russia’s Gazprom ramps up production as gas exports surge

He noted that potential supply contracts are being discussed with other gas-producing countries as well.

According to the official, Turkey expects to conclude a long-term agreement on gas transit with Russia in the near future.

Bayraktar added that Turkey is interested in liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries, but noted that with Russia, priority is given to pipeline gas.

According to the minister, by the end of 2021, annual gas consumption in Turkey is expected to reach 60 billion cubic meters, and projected to grow to about 70 billion cubic meters per year in the future.

Also on Food exports from Russia keep surging as Turkey and Europe ramp up purchases

Russian gas is mainly delivered to Turkey via the TurkStream pipeline running from Russkaya compressor station near Anapa in Russia’s Krasnodar Region, crossing the Black Sea to the receiving terminal at Kıyıköy. TurkStream replaced the South Stream project that was cancelled in 2014. According to recent data from Gazprom, natural gas deliveries from Russia to Turkey in the first half of 2021 jumped threefold to 14.623 billion cubic meters.

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Indian stock market on course to become world’s 5th largest by 2024 – Goldman Sachs

India’s stock market has already raised more money so far this year than it did in the last three years, the investment bank said in a report. Analysts predict investors’ interest to stay firm, propelling the country’s market capitalization to $5 trillion by 2024 from the current $3.5 trillion. This would effectively make India’s the world’s 5th largest stock market, throwing the UK out of the top five.

Also on Indian economy on track for strong growth after second Covid wave, SP says

A number of India’s major technology start-ups recently announced plans to go public. Indian insurance company Life Insurance Corp (LIC) is preparing for an IPO next year with a listing value of over $250 billion, the country’s largest initial public offering so far.

A major Indian tech company MapmyIndia is also looking to launch an IPO in the coming months. The mapping company, which provides data to Apple Maps and Amazon’s Alexa, is aiming for an IPO valuation of about $825 million.

Among the big names already listed are food delivery firm Zomato, payments giant Paytm, ride-hailing start-up Ola, and e-commerce firm Flipkart.

Also on India hires Goldman Sachs JPMorgan for work on nation’s biggest IPO – reports

Goldman Sachs’ analysts expect so-called “new economy” sectors, such as e-commerce, internet, internet retail and media to join India’s stock market in the coming years, while commodity and software services firms would be less noticeable.

Meanwhile, India’s domestic benchmark SP Bombay Stock Exchange index, Sensex, has more than doubled since last year, with record high gains in August and an equity market capitalization of around $3 trillion. The gains put Sensex at the top of the list of the globe’s best performers among primary indexes of nations.

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Bitcoin leads cryptocurrency market meltdown amid concerns over global equity markets

The digital asset lost as much as 10% during the day’s trading, falling to $43,692.57, according to Coin Metrics. Other cryptocurrencies were also in the red, with ether losing 9% to $3,038.74 and XRP becoming the worst performer, down 14% on Monday.

“This sell-off is the continuation of a well-established pattern where traders cash in their riskier assets to cover margin calls or sit on the sidelines until markets calm down and they feel more comfortable going back into riskier positions,” Leah Wald, CEO at crypto asset manager Valkyrie Investments, told CNBC. “If ever bitcoin had the opportunity to establish itself as a safe haven or as digital gold, with US companies also signaling their earnings calls are going to reveal poor results, now feels like the time.”

Also on One of China’s biggest property developers on brink of bankruptcy

The decline of cryptocurrencies comes amid a broader sell-off in the global equity markets due to fears from the mounting problems at China’s embattled property giant Evergrande.

“Investors look to be taking risk off the table on fears that [a] crisis at China Evergrande Group may become a systemic problem to global markets,” Pankaj Balani, CEO of Delta Exchange, told CoinDesk. “Markets will also be looking at the Fed commentary later this week to make sure that there are no changes in liquidity from the central bank.”

Speculation that the US government may declare stablecoins as a risk to the financial system could be adding to uncertainty in the cryptocurrency market, experts say. The president’s Working Group on Financial Markets is currently advancing a report on stablecoins. The Fed is also expected to issue a report on central bank digital currencies this month that could touch on stablecoin risks.

Meanwhile, El Salvador used the cryptocurrency slump and bought 150 additional bitcoins. “We just bought the dip. 150 new coins! El Salvador now holds 700 coins,” the country’s President Nayib Bukele tweeted on Monday.

Despite the slide, bitcoin has risen almost 50% so far in 2021.

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Gas prices in Europe spike on news of no extra transit through Ukraine

The price of October futures on London’s ICE jumped to $908 per 1,000 cubic meters after falling below $800 on Friday.

Also on European energy crisis ‘could get very ugly’ with winter coming and EU delaying Russian gas supplies

The rally follows Russian energy giant Gazprom’s decision not to book additional capacity for the transit of natural gas through Ukraine for October. Ukraine’s gas transportation operator offered transit capacities amounting to 15 million cubic meters per day for October at an auction on Monday. But according to the auction results, they remained unclaimed, TASS reports. In September, Gazprom booked only 4.3% of the proposed capacity.

The gas market rally subsided later in the day, however, with the TTF hub in the Netherlands trading $881 per 1,000 cubic meters as of 11am GMT.

This change could stem from the news that Europe’s key gas supplier, Norwegian Equinor, received long-awaited permission to boost gas exports from its offshore Oseberg and Troll fields.

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Russian pipeline gas exports to China nearly triple in 2021

In the first eight months of the year, China spent some $837.32 million on Russian gas, which is a 98.94% increase compared to the corresponding period last year, the Chinese General Customs Administration said on Monday.

According to the ministry, Turkmenistan continues to be China’s top supplier of natural gas, delivering 15.95 million tons of gas for $4.2 billion this year. Russia is in second place in terms of supply volume, followed by Kazakhstan with 3.17 million tons for $723 million, and Myanmar with 2.01 million tons for $922 million.

Also on Integration with China’s financial market is Russia’s priority for next decade – Central Bank

China’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in January-August was Australia (20.52 million tons for $8.47 billion), followed by Qatar, Malaysia, and United States. Russia ranked sixth in LNG imports, with 2.67 million tons for $1.23 billion.

According to Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, gas consumption in China is growing faster than in any other country of the Asia-Pacific region.

The Chinese market is the most dynamic and fastest in terms of growth. Every year it simply stuns us with the growth rate of consumption and 2021 is no exception. In the first half of the year, the volume of natural gas consumption in China increased by 15.5%, and the volume of imports by 23.8%. This means that by the end of 2021 the forecast estimates of consumption in China will amount to 360 billion cubic meters and the volume of imports will be 160 billion cubic meters,” Miller said last week.

Also on OPEC predicts demand for all fuel types to surpass pre-pandemic level in 2022

He predicts China’s natural gas imports will reach 300 billion cubic meters per year by 2035 and sees gas consumption in the Asia-Pacific region growing by 1.5 trillion cubic meters by 2040, with 60% of the volume falling on imports.

For the Asia-Pacific region, it is very important to ensure that the energy balance of these countries is environmentally friendly. This means that natural gas should play a significant role in it because it is natural gas that is the cleanest, most reliable and accessible natural resource. Most importantly, in terms of development of technological consumption, it is difficult to find an alternative to it,” Miller stressed.

Also on Bank of China: Beijing to steadily expand cross-border use of yuan in 2021

Meanwhile, China has also imported $25.1 billion worth of Russian oil in January-August 2021, which is a 30.4% increase year-on-year. However, despite the growth of imports in value terms, the physical volume of crude imported from Russia to China decreased by 7.3%, to 52.92 million tons. Still, Russia retains its position as China’s second-biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, which sold 58.49 million tons to China in January-August for $27.26 billion.

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Russian stocks booming as ruble becomes best-performing emerging market currency

Data shows that foreign ownership of Russian bonds has surged to a five-month high (rising above 20% for the first time since April) while measures of credit risk have eased back to pre-Covid levels.

Analysts say that for investors who look for certainty, Russia has shown itself as a predictable environment with little risk of a sudden change or policy U-turns.

“Markets like the technocratic orientation of the Russian government,” Timothy Ash, an emerging-market strategist from BlueBay Asset Management, told Bloomberg. “It encourages them to look the other way when it comes to ESG [Environmental, Social, and (Corporate) Governance].”

Also on Russian ruble makes top 20 popular currencies list

The Russian ruble is this year’s best performer among its emerging-market peers. It has also become one of the 20 most frequently used global currencies, according to the SWIFT interbank transfer system.

The ruble-denominated Moscow Stock Exchange Index (MOEX), which reflects the prices of the most liquid Russian stocks of the largest companies, has rallied 23% this year. The dollar-denominated RTS index has soared 26%.

With foreign-exchange reserves currently at a record-high of $621 billion, the Russian economy is expected to grow 3.9% this year.

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German toy factory reveals teddy bear dedicated to Angela Merkel ahead of her resignation

Hermann-Spielwaren, located in the Bavarian city of Coburg, revealed the 40-centimeter tall toy bearing a certain resemblance to the chancellor.


The teddy bear is sporting a hairstyle similar to Frau Merkel, while the paws can be folded to replicate the legendary hand gesture known as the ‘Merkel rhombus’.


“We try to express moments of contemporary history in teddy bears as a form of art,” said Martin Hermann, the managing director of one of the world’s oldest still-existing teddy bear factories, as quoted by Germany’s Bild newspaper.


Among the other outstanding figures who have appeared as teddy bears are former US President Barack Obama, former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.


The 101-year-old family enterprise will produce 500 limited-edition Merkel teddy bears, priced at €189 with the 16th one to be sent to Merkel as a reference to the number of years she spent at the helm of Germany.

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Eastern promises: Russia & ASEAN unveil plan for economic cooperation

The pandemic has demonstrated that we can overcome the crisis only by means of scaling up cooperation in three key areas – trade and investment, digital economy, and sustainable development,” the ministry’s press service reported, citing Deputy Minister Vladimir Ilyichev.

Also on Vietnam proposes creation of free-trade zone between ASEAN EAEU

According to the official, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, investments in joint Russia-ASEAN projects saw more than a threefold increase in 2020 compared to 2019, reaching $8.8 billion.

Ilyichev said that both ASEAN member states and Russia need to modernize their respective economic models to ensure more efficient cooperation. Also, he stressed that Russia sees great potential in joint work on climate-related projects under the plan.

According to the ministry, cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), of which Russia is a member state, and ASEAN will also see changes in the near future.

Also on Yuan trade settlements between Hainan ASEAN up sevenfold in 2021

The sides (ASEAN and EAEU) agreed to draft a number of initiatives in the areas of the development of the single-window systems, e-trade, intellectual property protection, as well as the use of sanitary and phytosanitary measures,” the ministry said.

At the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok earlier this month, a proposal was unveiled to establish a free-trade zone between ASEAN and the EAEU in order to boost regional cooperation further.

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