Russia readies itself for investors as Economic Forum looms

by 22 May, 2018


From the 24th to the 26th of May, Russia will play host to leaders including Emmanuel Macron and executives from the business world for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Investors with an interest in Russia’s equity market should keep an eye on proceedings, as any hint at new foreign investment and closer ties between Russia and the West could boost the Ruble and Russian stocks.

The country has been under heavy economic sanctions from the West since its incursion into Crimea in 2014 (and these were increased in light of its backing of the Assad regime), but appears to have weathered the storm, having boosted its domestic economy due to import substitution.

The Economic Forum will be a chance for Putin to play up Russia’s economic prospects in an effort to boost foreign investment into the increasingly politically isolated country.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (the $10 billion sovereign wealth fund), is bullish on Russia’s economic prospects. He said: “The doomsday predictions of Russia’s international isolation or collapse of the Russian economy have failed. The economy has adapted itself to sanctions”.

Indeed, Russia’s economy did grow 1.5% in 2017, while rising oil prices in 2018 brought an additional $49 billion to the Russian state budget. Perhaps things are looking up after all?

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