Growth rates and returns on consumer lending in Russia are remarkable, but the market demands increasing levels of sophistication to ensure success.
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A number of foreign banks scaled back operations in Russia after the financial crisis, but those that remain are generating very high returns in many cases.
Acquisitions by both private and state-owned banks in Russia are gradually concentrating the top end of the banking sector, but the long tail of closely held and regional banks remains.
Banks specialising in consumer lending are earning impressive returns in Russia, but state and foreign-owned players still dominate the banking sector as a whole.
The acquisition of an investment bank and subsidiaries across emerging Europe are transforming Sberbank from Russia's retail savings bank of choice into a genuine international player, just as Western competitors are retreating. But its management team is treading carefully.
A diversified payment rights securitisation for ZAO Raiffeisenbank reopened this important source of funding in Russia for the first time since the financial crisis, but joint lead manager WestLB will not be around to manage follow-up deals.
After leading Morgan Stanley’s equities business outside the Americas, John Hyman is working to position Renaissance Capital as a focused player in a number of very different markets across emerging Europe and Africa.
Closer economic integration of countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States has been discussed for many years without practical progress. The launch of a Single Economic Space between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus may be about to change that.
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