“Despite the negative growth of the Russian economy in the first half of 2016, we see some signs of stabilization in the face of rising oil prices and the strengthening of the ruble, which allows to predict a positive GDP dynamics in the second half of 2016”, — quotes the words of German Gref to the press release of Sberbank.
On Thursday, the country’s largest Bank presented its results for the first half of 2016 under IFRS, showing net profit to 263,1 billion.
According to the head of Sberbank, credit growth in Russia has slowed compared to previous years and in the current environment of declining inflation and high interest rates its acceleration is limited. Loan portfolio of Sberbank decreased from the beginning of the year to 3.5%.
However, as said Gref, in the future we can expect a slow economic recovery, which will keep cost of risk under control and in conjunction with increasing efficiency is to maintain profitability at a high level in 2016 and later.
According to Rosstat, Russia’s GDP in the first half of 2016 fell by 0.9%. In July, according to the MAYOR, the decline in the economy slowed to 0.6 percent. The Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev said that with the removed seasonality, Russia’s GDP in July showed zero dynamics, and admitted that in August it will be a small increase. “We have a Jul zero, it is possible that there will be a slight increase in August” — quoted the Minister’s words “Interfax”.
He also added that in the third quarter “with equal probability can be as small growth and small decline,” but in the fourth quarter, “exactly” is expected to increase.
Informed about the end of the recession in Russia was stated by the representatives of the Central Bank. Russia’s economy continues to adapt to low oil prices in the second quarter of 2016, with economic activity slightly increased, and in the coming months, the economy could go into growth were noted in the published in early August, Bulletin of the Department of studies and forecasting of the Central Bank. “The index rating of Russia’s GDP suggests that the recession is behind us, and ahead of a slow growth economy”, — noted the experts of the Bank of Russia.
However, according to the Central Bank, on “a trajectory of slow growth, the Russian economy in the coming months will be able to emerge only in the absence of new external shocks.” Such a shock could be, for example, a new fall in world prices in the oil market.
Bloomberg also saw signs of recovery of the Russian economy. After several “false starts” the Russian economy is finally on the verge of exit from the longest over the past two decades of recession, the peak of which was reached last year, wrote Bloomberg. Evidence that “the pulse of the economy starts to beat faster,” they called the increase in volumes of rail and container traffic and the growth in electricity demand. In July 2016, the electricity demand grew by 1.8%, while in June the growth was estimated at 1.6 percent, and in may of 0.4%.
According to the median forecast of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg in the second quarter of 2016, the decline in GDP will be the lowest since the beginning of 2015, as compared to the same period last year, GDP will shrink by 0.8%. For comparison, in the first quarter it shrank at an annual rate of 1.2%. On the restoration of Russia’s GDP also wrote analysts at Morgan Stanley and “the Renaissance the capital”. However, experts pointed out, the main risks for Russia is oil prices, which could decline due to the slowdown in economic growth in the United States, Brexit and the economic crisis in China.
The recovery of the Russian economy is primarily due to the head of the Central Bank, according to respondents to The Wall Street Journal investors. “Right steps taken by the Russian Central Bank, have restored confidence in the ruble and macroeconomic policy of the regulator”, — quotes the words of the WSJ portfolio Manager Fund Wasatch Emerging Markets Small Cap Andrey Kutuzov. According to EPFR, in 2016 the international investors put $1.3 billion into funds investing in Russian assets. According to the Bank, by June 1, the proportion of foreigners among the holders of government bonds rose to the highest level since the second half of 2012 of 24.5%.