Articles by Chris Weafer



What's in the Cards For the Ruble?

Sanctions will be the dominant talking point next year, but politics and sanctions are not the major driver of the ruble.

Will This Russian Winter Be a Cold One for Investors? (Op-Ed)

For much of the past three years it has generally been right for strategic and portfolio investors in Russia to consider the glass to be half empty.

Where Is the Ruble Going Next? (Op-Ed)

Should you book your New Year holiday now, or see what happens with the ruble? Columnist Chris Weafer explains.

Keeping an Eye on the Russian Financial Market

Those promoting good news from Russia are focused on the fact that Russia's equity indices are among the best performing in the world this year.

No End in Sight to the Ruble's Downward Slide

That Russian GDP contracted by 4.6 percent in the second quarter comes as no surprise. That is a preliminary estimate and may well end up closer to a 5 percent decline when the second reading is published.

How Much Have Sanctions Really Hurt Russia?

Next month marks one year since the beginning of the more serious phase of Western sanctions against the Russian economy and Moscow's retaliatory action to ban some imported foods.

Where Are Oil Prices and the Ruble Going Next?

The strong rally in the oil price over the past four months has confounded most forecasters. Instead of continuing the late 2014 slide to test the 2009 low of $42 per barrel, the price of Brent came close to $45 on Jan. 13 before starting a steady climb, which brought it close to $68 late last week.

Like It or Not, Russian Economy Needs the West

The May 9 parade through Red Square traditionally celebrates the end of the Great Patriotic War and this year, being the 70th anniversary of the event, is particularly special.

Is the Iran Deal Good or Bad News for Russia?

It is far too early to assume last week's framework agreement between Iran and the six world powers will lead to a permanent deal governing how Iran develops its nuclear industry.

Is the Worst Over for the Russian Economy?

For investors, business owners and everybody else with an interest or involvement in the Russian economy, this is now a period of waiting;

Can the Ruble Maintain Its Recent Recovery?

Over the past four weeks the ruble's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar has recovered by over 12 percent to a rate of 60.5 at the end of last week.

Investors Are Cautiously Optimistic About Russia

While the economic indicators are set to worsen considerably over the next few months, investors have become a lot more sanguine about Russia risk. Since the start of the year, to the middle of this week, the RTS Index gained 12.3 percent and MICEX added 20.4 percent.

Russian Economy Will Rally, But Won't Boom

There is currently a lot of noise about the Russian economy and almost all of it is bad. Many commentators predict that a catastrophe lies ahead and the economic destruction will lead to social instability and eventually a political crisis.

The Upsides to Russia's Ruble Collapse

2014 wasn't exactly a good year for Russia, but this could be beneficial as it could force future change, writes columnist Chris Weafer.

South Stream Cancellation Hits Europe Hardest

Russia's plan to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to Europe was a bad commercial decision.

Russia's Future Jeopardized by OPEC's Decline

Oil ministers from member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet in Vienna on Thursday to try to formulate a response to the recent sharp fall in the price of crude oil and, more fundamentally, to the threat posed to group's future as oil supplies from other countries, especially from the United States, continue to rise.

What's Next for the Ruble?

The future of the ruble may be uncertain, but one thing's for sure, the actions of the Kremlin will matter a lot more than the actions of the Central Bank in determining where things go from here, writes columnist Chris Weafer.

Oil and U.S. Dollar Will Decide Ruble's Fate

On Wednesday, the ruble's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar closed below 40, for many people a psychological line in the sand. The ruble has thus lost more than a fifth of its value since the start of the year and is a third lower than the rate 18 months ago.

Ruble Is the Latest Casualty in Ukraine Crisis

August is traditionally the month when something unexpected, and usually with a long-lasting legacy, is likely to occur in Russia.

Putin's Russia Will Always Stretch the WTO's Rules

Two years ago this month, Russia was formally admitted into the World Trade Organization (WTO) after almost 19 years of fractious negotiations. Since joining, Russia has set a record for the shortest time for a new member country to have a formal complaint filed against it.

Russia Has Earned Its Place in the BRICS Bank

In 2001 Goldman Sachs strategist Jim O'Neill first proposed the acronym BRIC to group together Brazil, Russia, India and China, four of the world's fastest-growing economies. In 2010 South Africa joined the group, changing the acronym to BRICS.

Russia Reaps Rewards of Middle East Misery

In the midst of so much economic uncertainty and questions over how Russia will be able to attract the volume of foreign investment it desperately needs to boost long term growth, the one piece of good news is the price of oil.

It's the Economy, Mr. President

Putin can't hold on to the Crimea euphoria forever. He will face serious political problems if inflation rises, disposable incomes fall and employment prospects worsen.

Russia Needs to Pivot East and West

A simplistic solution to Russia's increasingly difficult relationship with Western countries to turn East, but it can ill afford to ignore the West.

Anybody's Guess When Politics Drive The Economy

Ever since March 1, when the first steps toward Russia annexing Crimea were set in motion, economists were united in the opinion that the Kremlin's actions would hurt the country's economy.

Why Russia Isn't Afraid of U.S. Gas Exports

During his recent speech in Brussels, U.S. President Barack Obama said the U.S. could soon become a major supplier of gas to Europe and allow countries that are currently "hostage" to gas imports from Russia to have an alternative supply source at a cheaper price.

Crimean Crisis Will Exacerbate Capital Flight

The real fallout from a prolonged conflict in Ukraine will be self-inflicted. It will likely result in a drop in much-needed investment capital and an acceleration of capital flight.

Pity the Banker Who Lives for a Fat Bonus

Two weeks ago, the 7:25 a.m. train from one of London's outer eastern suburbs screeched to a halt near the Liverpool Street station located in the heart of the financial district.

Two Sides to Every Weak Ruble

The old formula of a strong oil plus positive growth equaling strong ruble is not working.

Still Betting on Oil Conflicts

If there had been no internal conflicts in the Middle East or Africa, the price of Brent would have likely plunged to $80 per barrel by the end of last year.