Category Archives: Finances

Central Bank first responded to an investigation of “Moldovan Laundry”

Photo: Pavel Smertin / TASS

“The Moldovan scheme” in which money was taken out of Russia through Moldovan banks, the Central Bank revealed back in 2013. By the middle of 2014 illegal operations were stopped, said controller

The Central Bank revealed and identified “the Moldovan scheme” in which money was taken out of Russia through banks of Moldova, at the end of 2013. This is stated in the message controller, received by RBC.

“This scheme involved 23 Russian Bank Russian land Bank, “Baltika”, “European Express”, Smartbank, mast-Bank, Intercapital-Bank “Western”, “energobiznes” others. Almost all credit institutions by the Bank of Russia has revoked a license for banking operations (19 banks),” — said in the message.

“The Moldovan Laundry”: from Russia withdraw $20 billion

The scheme was foiled by the regulator by mid-2014. The Bank said that it was not empowered to conduct investigations, and the legalization of money was not in Russian banks, and banks end their recipients. European financial regulators have not yet applied to Central Bank for “Moldovan”schema.

Criminal “Moldovan scheme”, which from Russia funds were withdrawn, OCCRP and Novaya Gazeta wrote for the first time in 2014. According to OCCRP, from 2011 to 2014 were withdrawn from Russia about $21 billion (700 billion rubles at the average exchange rate of those years).

The Bank of Russia for the first time in six months reduced the key rate

Photo: Love Mishina for RBC

The Bank of Russia lowered the key rate. On the eve of the meeting, the participants in the market for the first time over the past few months have disagreed regarding the actions of the Central Bank at a rate

The Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia at its meeting on 24 March had decided to lower the key rate to 9.75%. The regulator lowered the rate for the first time since last September, when it dropped from 10.5%.

The Central Bank will assess the future dynamics of inflation and the economy in relation to the forecast and allows for the possibility of gradual reduction of the key rate in 2Q-3Q of 2017, said in the comments of the regulator.

Market participants are waiting for a detailed review of the Bank of Russia. At 15:00 GMT scheduled press conference of the Chairman of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina where she will comment on the results of the meeting and will outline the future actions of the regulator.

The Central Bank also on Friday will report on monetary policy, which will give a forecast on key economic parameters (inflation, oil price, GDP). In early February, Elvira Nabiullina reported that the Outlook for oil price in the baseline scenario, which included the price of $40 per barrel, will be increased.

If in the run-up to the previous few sessions the market unanimously predicted saving rates, this time the opinions of the participants about the actions of the regulator at the rate of went. Thus, of the 19 banks surveyed by RBC, the preservation of the rate of expected a little more than half — 11, — while eight predicted lowering rates by 0.25–0.5 percentage points With all the interlocutors of RBC expect a softening of rhetoric of the regulator on the future direction of monetary policy.

The market was divided into two “camps” due to the fact that between the arguments for and against reducing the rate of the sprung balance. On the one hand, a sustained slowdown in actual inflation since the beginning of the year, the strengthening of the ruble and the recent verbal intervention from the Bank of Russia (9 March, the head of monetary policy Department, Bank of Russia Igor Dmitriev said that the regulator may consider a rate cut at the March meeting) gave analysts a reason to revise their forecasts downward rates, as did, in particular, Sberbank CIB and “VTB Capital”. On the other, continued high inflation expectations — a key factor underpinning the regulator in the decision-making process about the level of the interest rate risks of further decline in oil prices and the expected rise in the fed rate.

 

Who is the “daughter” of Russian banks will be able to sell the business in Ukraine

The action of nationalists in Kiev, demanding the cessation of work in Ukraine of Russian banks

Photo: Sergii Kharchenko / Zuma / TASS

Operative care “dochek” Russian state-owned banks from the Ukrainian market may be delayed, the rhetoric of the Russian regulator and interviewed by RBC experts. The most likely scenario is a temporary sale of business nominal holders until the Ukrainian banking market will not return the interest of foreigners. The hardest part will be to Sberbank

Thursday, March 23, on the situation of Russian banks in Ukraine in favor of the Bank of Russia. “CBR interprets sanctions as Ukraine emergency, will allow Russian banks to over three years to create reserves for the Ukrainian “daughters” — told “Interfax” a source close to the regulator. The representative of the press service of the regulator confirmed to RBC such plans.

Statement of the Central Bank — a response to sanctions against Ukrainian banks with Russian state capital imposed by Ukrainian authorities on March 23. Listed banks are prohibited from any financial transactions in favour of the parent structures. Talking about the Ukrainian savings Bank and VS Bank (controlled by Russian Sberbank), VTB Bank and BM Bank (owned by the Russian VTB) and Prominvestbank (Ukrainian “daughter” of VEB).

The result of the imposed sanctions Sberbank, as recently announced by its head Herman Gref, considers “the most rapid” options to leave the Ukrainian market. The Russian head of VTB Andrey Kostin said what to sell the Bank in Ukraine is “complicated”. The most optimistic sentiment was expressed by the head of Vnesheconombank Sergey Gorkov: “the stage advanced. I think next week will discuss the final proposals that we’re going out.”

However, given the three-year announced on Thursday the Russian Central Bank the period of potential benefits, the quick release of “dochek” Russian state-owned banks from the Ukrainian market awaits the Bank of Russia.

RBC has asked Russian and Ukrainian experts to evaluate the scenario output and potential buyers.

Possible scenarios

In the current environment any support for a subsidiary Bank is a non-refundable contribution, therefore, the desire of Russian bankers to come out quickly from the Ukrainian market is quite clear, says the managing Director on Bank ratings Agency “Expert RA” Stanislav Volkov. In his opinion, the most obvious buyers of Ukrainian banks that best understand the market they work in.

However, continues Volkov, Ukrainian banks will be difficult for them to pay a substantial amount, so the most probable scenario with a delay. “This is a purely Ukrainian buyer in the lack of sufficient funds, is likely to be just a while the nominal holder until you find a real he says. Thus, nobody will irritate the presence of Russian capital in the Ukrainian banking business.” However, in this case, you will need approval at a political level, adds wolves.

In the future, much will depend on whether the return of interest European banks to the Ukrainian market, he said: “If in a year or six months, it will happen, Russian assets can be sold to foreigners”.

A similar version sticks to the younger Vice-President Moody’s Lev Dorf. “You have to understand that the “daughter” of Sberbank in Ukraine is quite a large Bank and ranked sixth in terms of assets. Given the fact that the share of state-owned banks and banks with foreign capital together account for 86% of all assets of the banking system of Ukraine, it is unlikely that a small private Ukrainian banks will show interest in such a huge asset in a situation when many of them are still unprofitable and are in need of recapitalization, he said. — To consolidate state-owned banks also impractical, since after the nationalization of PrivatBank’s share of the state in the banking sector increased significantly and reached 52 percent.” Buying could be of interest to foreign investors, but it all depends on the price and quality of the asset, says Dorf. The level of problem assets subsidiaries of Russian state-owned banks, particularly Sberbank and VEB, it is assessed as sufficiently high due to the fact that a considerable part of loans were issued in foreign currency to enterprises operating on the territory of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. In connection with the devaluation of the hryvnia and the difficult economic situation in these regions a large part of the portfolio was problematic, he explained.

Photo gallery
The construction of the wall at the entrance of Sberbank in Kiev. Photos

Activists “right sector” blocked the office of the subsidiary Bank of Sberbank of Russia on Volodymyrska street in downtown Kiev. The protesters poured cement in concrete blocks and stack them in the door…

Showing 7 photos

There is another point of view: sales may be made through intermediaries, but not Ukrainian, and foreign.

“In Ukraine no one oligarch free couple of hundreds of millions of dollars that can be spent on banks whose capitalization is dropped (this applies to the entire banking system of Ukraine) and which at any moment is very sensitive to information flows, — says head of the expert analytical Council of the Ukrainian analytical center Boris Kushniruk. — No one in their right mind will buy a Russian Bank even with a 50 percent discount.”

He believes that a quick sale, if it takes place, is likely to mean not a deal as such, but conveyance of property with closed to the General public arrangements”. According to Kushniruk, banks with Russian capital are to consider options when you can re-register the right of ownership structure on the West or Asian, which in reality will have closed, unknown to the public agreement about who is the real beneficiary.

This position does not agree with the head of the Commission in banking analysis of Ukrainian society of financial analysts Vitaly Shapran: “I would not consider the option of a nominal holding, because if the market is considered the nominal holder, the situation will not change: the blockade, riots, paint — to do business in such conditions it is difficult and sometimes impossible, especially retail”.

Borys Kushniruk does not exclude direct interest of foreigners: the assets of the Russian banks is impaired, so its value in the coming years is unlikely to grow significantly, he said.

However, some experts do not believe that the transaction will take place. “A few years ago Sberbank in Ukraine, perhaps it could be interesting transnational banks, but in the current circumstances, foreign investors also should review their risks on the Ukrainian market. The obvious potential buyer I do not see. Most likely, it makes sense to think about how to repatriate funds from the country subject to sanctions, such as the use of potential cash flows in the direction of Ukraine for the netting of assets placed in Ukrainian “daughter,” says Kushniruk.

Who’s harder to leave

According to Boris Kushniruk, the highest internal risks — Sberbank, both now and as a result of a potential transaction. “Sberbank has positioned itself as a major Russian Bank, with which the people of the Soviet time. Therefore in Ukraine a large number of people keep their money there. As soon as Sberbank in Ukraine will be sold, its positioning may not be the same. Will require a complete re-branding of the Bank, regardless of who it will be sold. Specifically for Sberbank it will be a significant problem, which can reduce its cost”, — the expert believes.

VTB the situation a little easier, he continues. “In the eyes of the Ukrainian population, he had no tight connection to Russia, is the Bank for business associated with industry, products for individuals are not determinative, as the savings Bank, and therefore withdrawal from the market will be much easier, and repositioning,” — said the expert.

The main problem Prominvestbank’s loss-making business, the reputational risk it — least of all, summarizes Kushniruk. According to the NBU, the net loss of Prominvestbank by the end of 2016 amounted to UAH 4.2 bn (of 8.82 billion rubles on January 1, 2017), the savings Bank — UAH 2.8 bn (5.88 billion RUB), VS Bank — 63.6 million UAH (133,6 million rubles.), VTB 6.3 billion UAH (to 13.23 billion RUB), BM-Bank — UAH 1.8 billion (3.78 billion rubles).

In this part of the external risks can be reduced in the near future. “The national Bank of Ukraine requests of militiamen to respond to the continued blockage of the Ukrainian banks with Russian state capital, which is carried out “aggressive group of people” — quoted in Thursday evening “Interfax” Deputy head of the NBU Ekaterina Rozhkova. — We must ensure the possibility of a civilized way of Ukrainian banks with Russian state capital from our market.”

The market has not come to a consensus to reduce the key rate of the Central Bank

Photo: Oleg Yakovlev / RBC

The majority of participants of the consensus forecast (11 of 19) waiting that the Central Bank at its meeting on 24 March will keep the key rate at 10%. However, the remaining eight forecast that the controller after a six-month pause in March will reduce the rate by 0.25–0.5 p. p.

The Bank of Russia on Friday, 24 March, will hold a support meeting of the Board of Directors, the results of which decide about the level of the key rate. As shown by the consensus forecast of RBC, which was attended by 19 banks, the opinions of experts about the actions of the regulator at the rate were distributed almost equally. According to most analysts (11 out of 19 banks), high inflationary expectations, the risk of continuing fall in oil prices, and the desire of the Central Bank to show consistency in its monetary policy will encourage the regulator to keep the rate unchanged since September of 2016, the level of 10%. However, the remaining eight banks are expected at the March meeting rate cut by 0.25–0.5 p. p.

Moreover, all experts agree that the Central Bank will soften the tone of the review following the meeting — in particular, note the improvement in macroeconomic indicators and gives a clearer signal about their future actions.

Lowering early

To maintain the key rate expected by 11 of the 19 participants in the consensus forecast Renaissance Capital, UniCredit, PSB, Bin Bank, ING Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, SMP Bank, Citibank, Berenberg and Saxo Bank and Alfa-Bank. His position they justify the continued high inflation expectations, the risk of continuing falling oil prices, anticipated increase in the fed rate. Another factor in favor of maintaining the previous level of rates is, from their point of view, the statement of the Central Bank on the results of the February meeting that the potential of reducing the key rate by the Bank of Russia in the first half of 2017 decreased.

“To prevent the rate reduction can considerations about the sequence of monetary policy, because the tone of the previous press release was very hard,” — said the chief analyst of the Bank Natalia Vasilyuk. According to her, the Central Bank will refer to the need to ensure that inflation is not only close to 4%, but in the future will remain around this level.

Dynamics of inflation expectations still above the target of the regulator. According to the survey conducted by “Old” by the order of the Central Bank, in February the value of the expected population inflation for the next 12 months rose by December 2016 1.4 percentage points to 12.9%, while the proportion of respondents who believe that in 2017, inflation will be significantly above the target level of 4%, back to the level of December 2016 (63%) after a sharp decline in January. According to the chief analyst of Promsvyazbank Roman Nasonova, the Central Bank at least until April will take a wait — up to confirm the trend in the decline of inflationary expectations of the population.

Forecast of the Bank suggests that the Bank of Russia in March the rate will not change, but will soften his rhetoric, allowing the possibility of a rate cut at a future meeting, likely in April. A similar opinion is held by Alfa Bank.

Statistics in favor of lower

Reduction in the key rate in March, expect eight banks, or 40% of the participants consensus: Sberbank CIB, “VTB Capital”, ROSBANK, the Bank “Russian capital”, UBRD, “absolute”, Nordea and BNP Paribas. According to their analysts, a significant slowdown in inflation in recent months gives the Central Bank reason for lowering rates by 0.25–0.5 p. p. thus, according to Rosstat, inflation in annual terms fell by 20 March to 4.3%. “This trend suggests that next summer the annual inflation rate is expected to decline to the Central Bank’s target level of 4%”, — analysts of Sberbank CIB in their review.

In addition, according to Sberbank CIB, the low rate of inflation will increase interest rates in real terms, which will negatively affect the economic growth. In this regard, analysts say, the prospect of a slowing of inflation to less than 4% should be considered as an important macroeconomic risk factor. “We believe that an overly sharp slowdown in inflation in December and February requires a response from the Central Bank,” — they explain their position.

Experts also point to the statement on 9 March, the head of the Department of monetary policy of the Central Bank Igor Dmitriev on the fact that the regulator may consider a rate cut at the next meeting. Market participants prior to this believed that the Central Bank will retain a wait until April, but the latest statements of the Central Bank aims to reduce the importance of the [February] of the forecast, noted in Sberbank CIB. Statements Dmitrieva prompted to revise the forecast, in particular, and analysts of “VTB Capital”. Among the grounds for a rate cut as early as Friday in addition to inflation, they are also called the growth savings and the reduction of retail trade turnover.

Expectations soft rhetoric

The participants of the consensus forecast expecting a softening of rhetoric of the Central Bank against the background of current macroeconomic conditions, mainly in connection with the steady slowing of actual inflation. According to experts, predicting the rates in March, a softening of rhetoric will form the basis of an interest rate cut by 0.5 percentage points in April or June. Analysts expect that the regulator will either give a promise “in case inflation risks decline, resume the gradual reduction of the key rate on one of the next meetings”, or will report that the “potential of reducing the key rate by the Bank of Russia in the first half of 2017 have increased.”

As you get closer to the inflation target of the Central Bank and the external environment, the regulator must reduce the risk premium in roubles against world benchmarks. In this regard, the expected occurrence of the phrase about the readiness “to consider a rate cut at one of the next meetings,” says Koshelev of ROSBANK. The Bank expects to reduce the key rate by 0.25 percentage points on a quarterly basis during the year, including at the March meeting.

Key factors influencing the exchange rate of the Russian currency on the horizon to the end of the year is likely to remain the dynamics of oil prices and the “appetite for risk” in global markets, says Roman Nasonov from the PSB. Thus a gradual lowering of rates by the CBR to 8.75–9.0 percent at the end of the year and the purchase of foreign currency in amounts determined by the Ministry of Finance, may ceteris paribus contribute to a certain weakening of the ruble. “Our baseline forecast assumes that by year-end pair dollar/ruble may return to the levels of 62 to 64 rubles per dollar,” — he said.

The Kremlin said Ukraine as a country with “dangerous investment environment”

The investment situation in Ukraine is “extremely dangerous”, and further actions of the Ukrainian authorities is unpredictable, said the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov

The investment situation in Ukraine “extremely dangerous”, there is an increased risk for investors. This was stated press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov on a question about the position of the Kremlin in the work of the “daughters” of Russian banks in Ukraine, the correspondent of RBC.

“Certainly, from our point of view and the perspective of the participants of the international economic life of Ukraine is not a country with attractive investment climate. Moreover it is a country with a very hazardous investment environment, the economy, probably, increased risk for investors,” so Sands responded to the request of journalists to mark the position of the Kremlin on the work of Russian banks in Ukraine.

The press Secretary stressed that the activities of Russian financial institutions in Ukraine is in grave danger, and “further actions of the Ukrainian authorities is unpredictable.” “We know that Ukrainian authorities are unable to restore order in countering the extremist forces that cause deep regret”, he added.

To the question about whether it is necessary for Russian banks to leave Ukraine, Peskov said that the bankers had previously voiced his desire to begin working to minimize possible damage when you try as soon as possible to leave the Ukrainian market. “You know, that position was declared by our bankers is probably more important. They act in the interests of their shareholders first and foremost,” said the spokesman.

The national Bank of Ukraine said on March 15 wideni sanctions “dochek” Russian banks. In the black list includes Sberbank, VTB, BM-Bank, Prominvestbank and VS Bank. The restrictions include a ban on any operations in favor of the parent institutions is the provision of interbank loans, deposits, purchase of securities, prohibition of dividend payments and other transactions.” On the eve of the national Bank said that the restrictions come into force in force since March 23.

DIA will give your new office the Bank of Russia for debts

Business center Mosfilmovsky on the Sparrow hills, which cost the Agency on insurance of deposits of about 6 billion rubles, may be a new office for employees of the Bank of Russia. According to RBC, to part with high-class premises ASV force debts to the Central Bank

Residential complex “House on Mosfilm” in Moscow

(Photo: Olga Volodina / Lori)

The Bank of Russia and Agency on insurance of contributions (ASV) has agreed to transfer to the Bank of new expensive office Agency — business center Mosfilmovsky (part of the complex “House on Mosfilmovskaya”), located on the Sparrow hills in Moscow. About RBC told several sources close to both sides of the negotiation process.

Part of the Agency’s employees know that the management plans have changed. “Recently, we announced that the building will go, the Central Bank”, — said one of interlocutors of the edition. This information was confirmed by two sources from the number of realtors that are not associated with stakeholders.

According to interlocutors RBC, the formal agreements with the Central Bank was formalized at a recent meeting of the Board of Directors of ASV.

Agency RBC reported: “on March 4, 2017 the Board of Directors decided to transfer the building and Parking office at Mosfilm Bank of Russia”.

The Central Bank said that the Board of Directors of the Bank of Russia will consider the issue of the use of a regulator of a building owned by the DIA. “This building on the decision of the Board of Directors of ASV will be transferred by the Agency to the Bank of Russia to repay part of the debt on earlier loans,” — said the representative of the press service of the Central Bank.

Forced negotiations

The transfer of the office of ASV, the Central Bank became for the market a surprise. ASV was going to use the office exclusively for themselves. According to sources close to the DIA, it was planned that the new building will house staff offices on the Forest, Letnikovskaya the streets, office South of the port and partly from the head office on the street Vysotsky. The result was supposed to be a cost saving on rent and improving the efficiency of ASV by combining in one unit, now scattered all over Moscow.

The reason for the refusal of such attractive plans forced, told the interlocutors of RBC. The office may be transferred to the DIA to pay the debts to the Central Bank. The fact that the deficit of Deposit insurance Fund depleted due to active withdrawal of Bank licenses, for several years covered by credits of the Central Bank to the Agency. “To return these funds as a necessary, and the transfer of the building, for example in the order of compensation, one of the ways you” — indicates one of the sources of RBC. In addition, it is in line with the Central Bank lobbied for the reduction of functions of the Agency, in particular transfer functions of financial rehabilitation of banks from the Deposit insurance to the Bank, he continues: “In this situation, more areas DIA not need.”

“The building and Parking spaces are transferred at a cost equal to the amount of capital investment that can be offset against the repayment of debt Agency credit provided by the Bank of Russia”, — told RBC DIA.

Still this kind of relationship — reckoning assets for the debts between the Central Bank and ASV was not.

According to RBC, the initiative about transfer of the building was made by the Central Bank and the DIA supported the idea.

Debt

The Deposit insurance Fund, traditionally updated due to quarterly contributions of banks is scarce in 2015, after a year and a half since the beginning of the clearing of the banking sector. Officially this is the moment were not recorded by the Agency. It simply ceased to disclose on its website data on the volume of the Fund. Since then, the Fund was financed by the Central Bank.

Initially the credit limit ASV from the Central Bank for replenishment of the Fund amounted to 110 billion rubles In October 2016, the Bank of Russia will increase the limit on the loan of 220 billion rubles “for the purpose of ensuring financial stability of system of insurance of contributions”. Then a few more increases in the limit: in March 2016 — up to 420 billion rubles, in 2016 — up to 600 billion rubles credit line limit of the Central Bank is 820 billion rubles, the Central Bank provided these funds on a revolving basis.

As noted senior Director of financial institutions at Fitch Alexander Danilov: “whatever the office, the cost is only a small part of the existing debt of the DIA to the Bank. Moreover, it is clear that the clearing of the banking sector is still not finished, so the debt will only increase. Given this, to reduce it good by any means.”

“Moving to a new office it is reasonable to do at a time when the organization is profitable. Currently the DIA is operationally unprofitable, and very fit to ask, to somehow reduce the liabilities,” says one of the sources of RBC.

New home

Office at Mosfilm class A. According to the extract from the Unified state register of March 22 (the data in the register are issued with a week delay), business center Mosfilmovsky total area about 15 thousand sq. m currently owned by the Agency on insurance of contributions. According to the materials of the Agency, a nine-storey building was purchased for 3.94 billion RUB from “don-Stroy invest” in October 2014. Later, the Agency built a new and modern office building, has been increased several times, including due to the growth of the cost of finishing the premises they are in 2015 increased by 1.9 billion rubles. Thus, collectively, the Agency paid him about 5.8 billion rubles As stated by the newspaper “Vedomosti” representative of the Agency, the financing of works was carried out at the expense of own funds of the Agency.

The materials of the public procurement specified that the design, construction and installation work and work on the creation of engineering systems and communications of its new building was to be completed by November 2016. Meanwhile, in early March, 2017, the Agency announced a new tender for the purchase from a single service provider to ensure conformity to the object of construction and Assembly works of technological, urban and architectural, stylistic and other decisions contained in the project documentation. These services must be provided until the end of may.

The new owner of the building can also be important and the capacity of the business center. According to estimates member of the Board of Directors of Cushman & Wakefield Michael Mindlin, for one employee, you usually need 10 sq. m of total area. Thus, in the business center on Mosfilmovskaya will be able to move a little more than 1,5 thousand employees of the Central Bank, reckons RBC.

Office the deficit

For the CB question of the extension of payments is very relevant. “As a result of reengineering of business processes has been the centralisation and transfer of responsibilities from territorial institutions of the Bank of Russia Central office, has created a new unit, moreover, the problem of placement of employees is quite acute already, since the creation of mega-regulator. The Bank of Russia a few years forced to use a lease area for a number of units,” said RBC in the CBA. Thus, to date, internal resources use of office space in the buildings of the Bank of Russia, located in Moscow, does not exist, said the representative of the press service of the Bank of Russia.

The source of RBC familiar with the discussions on these issues say that as a result of the ongoing reform of supervision, the number of jobs in the Bank of Russia will increase in Moscow. “First, the creation of a new Department of risk assessment, and secondly, in the framework of centralization of the supervision of jobs in the regions are closed and to open in Moscow, and all those workers need somewhere to sit,” said RBC one of the sources. Now current employees of the Central Bank to actively move from one belonging to the regulator of the other buildings in order to give more effective Seating and the release of some areas, say sources.

According to one of them, given the urgent need of the Central Bank in new areas, the potential price of the transfer of office may be formed with a smaller discount.

Not yet decided which departments the Bank of Russia can move on Mosfilmovskaya. The interlocutors RBC does not exclude the possibility that, given the quality and location of the office, it can be managers of the highest level.

Authors:
Marina Bozhko, Svetlana Dementieva, Alex Pastushin

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The state Duma has banned transfers to Ukraine through international payment system

The state Duma passed a bill banning sending money to Ukraine through international payment systems. This measure is a response to Kiev introduced a ban on the activities of the Russian payment systems

The state Duma adopted in the third reading the amendment to law “On national payment system”, limiting the ability to send money transfers from individuals from Russia to other countries.

The document provides for the imposition of retaliatory measures undertaken by any country limit the activities on its territory of the Russian payment systems or operators of payment infrastructure services. This measure would effectively deprive this country of the ability to non-Bank remittances from Russia, including transfers using electronic money.

The law provides for the prohibition of departure transfers to citizens of countries introduced restrictive measures against Russian payment systems, except through the payment system, controlled by Russian business. Given the fact that the reason for the ban is just the restriction of the activities of such systems, sending money is actually blocked.

The first pass after the new law will be Ukraine, whose authorities in October 2016, banned the work in its territory six Russian payment system — “Kolibri” (controlled by Sberbank), the “Golden crown” (rnko “Payment center”), “Unistream” (Bank “Uniastrum”), international money transfers “Leader” (NCO JSC “Leader”), Anelik (Bank “Anelik RU”) and Blizko (the Bank).

According to experts, from-for sanctions of the Ukrainian authorities, Russian companies lost market volume of about $1 billion a year. In the explanatory note to the adopted on March 21 by the state Duma the law States that it needs to eliminate the negative effects imposed by Ukraine sanctions.

“The establishment of this prohibition has led to restriction of competition on the Russian market of payment services carried out in the form of cross-border transfers of funds without opening accounts in favor of foreign payment systems. Given this fact, it is proposed to limit the possibility of payment through foreign payment systems”, — stated in the explanatory Memorandum.

According to the Central Bank, in 2015 the total amount of remittances sent from Russia via payment systems in Ukraine, amounted to approximately $988,5 million In 2016, he declined to approximately $621,5, that is, more than a third. In the fourth quarter of 2016, after the introduction of the Ukrainian authorities ban the Russian payment systems, remittances have decreased compared to the previous quarter, less than 5%, from $157 million to $150 million.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the payment system “Leader” Olga Vilkul said “Vedomosti” that the Ukrainian sanctions have forced customers to use the services of non-Russian systems.

“In this situation, the national significant systems left behind in their own country”, — said Vilkul.

After the introduction Kiev restrictions on the work of Russian payment systems the function of money transfer issued by Ukrainian banks on cards of MasterCard and Maestro introduced the social network “Vkontakte”. A similar service has appeared in the social network “Odnoklassniki”.

The interior Ministry opened a case on the theft of 2 billion rubles from investors of Mortransbunker

Photo: Andrei Makhonin / TASS

The police opened a case of theft of about 2 billion rubles of funds of depositors of Mostransavto, deprived of a license in the past year. Investigators have uncovered a multi-stage criminal scheme withdrawal

Investigative Department of the UVD for South-East district of Moscow opened a criminal case on the theft of almost 2 billion rubles of funds of depositors of Mostransavto, who was stripped of his license last year. This writes in Wednesday newspaper “Kommersant”.

It opened a few days ago. The basis for its initiation were the materials of the check spent by police officers on the statement of the first Deputy of the General Director of Agency of insurance of contributions Valery Miroshnikov.

From the investigation it follows that, with the approval of the Bank’s management from 1 April 2014 it launched a multistage criminal scheme aimed “criminal enrichment” of its participants. According to law enforcement authorities the money of the depositors were displayed in the form of loans through the opened Bank accounts of a company “Promo”.

Thus, as suggested by law enforcement, for fraud reporting to the Central Bank, the attackers used the funds and the account of their clients – the Russian authors ‘ society (RAO) and the Russian Union of rights holders (RBC), the Council is headed by Nikita Mikhalkov. So, at the end of each calendar month, the Bank registered a “fictitious repayment of” debt “Promo”, translating into a day or two on account of the borrower of funds from the accounts of RAO and RSP, and then return the money to the account holder.

In these actions the result saw the theft and embezzlement of depositors ‘ funds “by a group of persons in especially large size” (part 4 of article 160 of the criminal code). The defendants in the materials of the investigation so far, we are talking about “unidentified persons”.

The Central Bank revoked the license of Mortransbunker in may last year. In November the regulator with reference to the results of the work of the provisional administration of the credit institution reported that before the revocation of the license of the Bank brought about 2 billion rubles, the Materials were sent to law enforcement agencies, reported the Central Bank.

Moldovan Laundry: from Russia withdraw $20 billion

Photo: Lee Jae-Won / Reuters

The center for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP) published a new investigation on the withdrawal of Russia’s $21 billion RBC versed as worked a criminal scheme, which affected 732 Bank in 96 countries

On 20 March the international centre for the study of corruption and organized crime (OCCRP) and “Novaya Gazeta” published new journalistic investigation into the alleged laundering of Russian money through Moldova and Latvia, which they called “Laundromat service to our” (English “Laundry”). The scheme operated from at least 2011 to 2014, and during that time, according to OCCRP, were withdrawn from Russia about $21 billion (700 billion rubles at the average exchange rate of those years).

When I learned about this scheme?

In 2014 OCCRP and Novaya Gazeta wrote about “Laundromat service to our” calling it the largest in the history of the CIS operation for the laundering of criminal proceeds. Then the journalists published laundered in four years, the amount ($20 billion), the outlined scheme, which employed the alleged fraud (fictitious loan agreements between foreign companies, pacifiers, Russian and Moldovan guarantors “forced” to repay a nonexistent loan), and called the main participants in the fraud — by Moldindconbank and the Latvian Trasta Komercbanka.

Did you learn something new journalists?

In “Laundromat service to our” money got from different sources: public contracts in Russia (corruption through overpricing), theft of assets in Russian banks with revoked licenses, possible tax evasion, say investigators. Scrolled through the “Laundry” money could be used to purchase goods and services from companies such as Samsung and Ericsson, and even funding Pro-Russian organizations in Eastern Europe. The money derived from Russia, were transferred to accounts in the Bank 732 in 96 countries, they have received more than 5 thousand companies from different jurisdictions — the US and South Africa to China and Australia, writes “Novaya Gazeta”.

The publication also claims that even found a few real beneficiaries of the “Moldovan” schema ultimate recipient of the money (although in reality, users of the scheme could be hundreds of people and companies). This businessman Alexey Krapivin, whose companies are the contractors of Railways (he had not responded to the request of “Novaya Gazeta”), the owner of IT of the group “LANIT” George gens and co-owner of IT-holding “marvel” Sergey Garden. The representative of “Lanita” said RBC that the gens is not related to the “Moldovan scheme,” but a representative of marvel said that in any of the documents referenced in “Novaya Gazeta”, not seen and for that reason to comment on anything can’t.

Company Krapivina and its partners, the largest contractors of Railways, according to “Novaya Gazeta”, the father Krapivina was previously adviser to the former head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin. The procurement activities of Railways carried out in strict accordance with the current legislation, said the representative of the monopoly in response to a request to RBC, most of the contests are held electronically and published on the website of Russian Railways, competitive procedures always undergo multilevel checks and repeatedly audiofiles.

Where did they get new information?

An anonymous source has provided OCCRP two arrays of Bank transactions: in the first specification of money transfers by Moldindconbank and from it, the second contains data on transfers to the Latvian Trasta Komercbanka, through which passed two-thirds of all laundered Russian money after transit through Moldova. Based on the data provided by an anonymous source, investigators have examined over 75 thousand Bank transactions.

Moldindconbank branch in Chisinau

Photo: Gleb Garanich / Reuters

As he worked the scheme?

OCCRP describes the scheme this way: two foreign companies-dummy, secretly controlled by Russian money launderers, to sign a bogus loan agreement (in reality, no money to the borrower not transferred). Guarantors on the debt are a Russian company and necessarily the citizen of Moldova. One of the parties to the contract can not pay the debt, “creditor” puts demands to the guarantor. Since the transaction includes a citizen of Moldova, the Moldovan case is referred to court, where the “corrupt judge” issues an official order requiring the company to pay the debt. The court shall appoint a bailiff, who is also a part of a fraudulent scheme, and that opens an account in Moldindconbank, where the Russian company transfers money, paying off a nonexistent debt.

“Novaya Gazeta” cites the example of the investigation: in January 2011, the UK company Valemont Properties Ltd allegedly purchased a promissory note with par value of $400 million from another company from great Britain Goldbridge Trading Ltd. The surety on the bill were several companies from Russia (including LLC “Legat” nominee Director — a pensioner from Moscow) and a citizen of Moldova Maxim Mexicain. When it came time to pay the bill, all taxpayers reported that they recognize the debt, but they have no money. And then the company Valemont Properties in April 2012 appealed to the court of Chisinau. The role of the citizen of Moldova was to ensure Moldovan jurisdiction where the organizers of the scheme was a good touch. The main purpose was to obtain legal justification for the withdrawal of money from Russia, the newspaper notes.

Where the money goes?

In the study “Moldovan scheme” was attended by journalists from 32 countries. Each edition, in addition to the description of the operation principle of “Laundromat”, told about involvement in the scheme of corporations out of their country.

For example, in Germany, the Süddeutsche Zeitung journalists counted $66.5 million of dirty money passing through German banks. Almost 80% of this amount passed through Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, the country’s largest banks, which had previously been implicated in the scandal around the “Panamanian archive”.

In neighboring Austria, the journalists Dossier found in the database “Landromat” 32 recipients of “suspicious transaction”, which for several years were transferred $5.4 million. Among them, in addition to hotels, private schools and factories, is also an elderly couple living in the village near Vienna. In 2013, they received €52.7 K for some “consulting services”.

Journalists of the Polish Newsweek drew attention to the fact that one of the recipients of payments under the “Laundromat” was a Polish analytical organization “European center of geopolitical analysis” (ECAG). In may 2013 she received from Cypriot companies-dummy €21 million for “consulting services.” ECAG is headed by far-right politician Mateusz Piskorski. Previously RBC wrote that he is one of many European radicals occupying the openly Pro-Russian stance. Piskorski repeatedly visited the Crimea, worked as an observer at the Crimean referendum in March 2014, appeared as an expert on the Russia Today TV channel. In may 2016, he was arrested by the Polish secret service as a “Russian spy” and is still in custody.

Mateusz Piskorski

Photo: partia-zmiana.pl

One of the most important members of the scheme became British banks. And through the branches actually it was only about $30 million “suspicious transactions”, whereas British banks were involved in laundering at least $738 million, stresses The Guardian. For example, more than $545 million passed through the Bank HSBC, the bulk of this amount through a branch in Hong Kong.

Not all national publications, cooperating in the framework of investigations with OCCRP, have published their materials. For example, the investigation is not yet written Finnish Yle and the Latvian Re: Baltica. “We do not interfere in editorial policy, each issue publishes materials when deemed necessary, we just give them the materials,” said RBC Executive Director of OCCRP’s Paul Radu, a Romanian investigative journalist. According to the Rada in the near future we can expect more publications on corruption schemes in the PRC and Hong Kong. Through each of these countries (Hong Kong and has a broad financial and economic autonomy from Beijing) passed over $900 million in “suspicious transactions” under the “Landromat”. Together it is even more than the leader of the list is Russia ($1.5 billion of laundered money).

What Russian banks included in the investigation?

According to participants of investigation by the “Novaya Gazeta”, in the scheme of a conclusion of criminal cash abroad were 18 Russian banks, 15 of which in the period from 2013 to 2016 has been revoked license. As told RBC journalist “the New newspaper” Roman Anin, in the transfer of money to Moldindconbank was seen, in particular, Bank “Strategy” Intercapital-Bank, First Czech-Russian Bank, Incredbank, “European Express”, MBFI, “Unicore”, “Rublevsky”, “Russian financial Alliance”, Smartbank (until autumn 2011 BUT Bank) and mast-Bank. According to the materials of publication, the highest amount of money was transferred to Moldova in two Bank Russian land Bank and Bank “Western”, at the time of committing the suspicious transaction belonged to the banker Alexander Grigoriev. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of organizing a criminal community for illegal cashing and cash withdrawals abroad volume of about $50 billion, stated by representatives of the Ministry of interior.

In the international investigation appeared another Russian Bank RosEvroBank, which is in contrast to the above performed the role of the receiving Bank, that is, through him the money was returned to Russia after the completion of the offshore schemes. The RBC representative of the Bank included in the top 50 by assets, has denied the information on participation in “Moldovan.” “The mention of our Bank in the publication “Novaya Gazeta” was a complete surprise to us, we don’t understand, what does all this have to us. RosEvroBank works in strict accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation and requirements of the Bank of Russia”, — said the representative of RosEvroBank.

The Central Bank and the Federal financial monitoring service did not respond to a request RBC.

What is the role of the import goods to Russia?

A large part taken out of Russia funds — money received from gray imports, writes “Novaya Gazeta”. The publication illustrates this theory with examples obtained through Bank transactions, and unnamed businessmen, “which imported various goods in Russia”. The scheme, as of the publication is as follows: customs officials create impossible conditions for import of goods to Russia, from-for what businessmen have imported goods through a forwarding company, often associated with by the same officials. For its services, the middlemen are taking 30-40% of the value of the cargo, the newspaper notes, while “all imported transactions were carried out through bogus companies that did not pay taxes and customs duties” (these firms received money for fictitious decisions by Moldovan judges).

Photo: Maxim Shemetov / TASS

The problem of gray imports even wider, says the Chairman of the coordinating Council of the state Duma on the optimization of foreign trade flows, the former Deputy Mikhail Bryachak. Customs service directs consistently to the budget of 2.5 trillion a year less than it should, he believes, be seen when comparing the data of the FCS, the Central Bank and the United Nations. “It is obvious that such volume loss could not happen without the participation of the senior management service, night backpacks in this volume of goods concealed from customs control is impossible, he says. — As a result, the money appeared in the hands of corrupt officials and unscrupulous participants of foreign economic activity, naturally derived [from Russia]”.

Scheme, forcing the company to cooperate with forwarders exist, confirms the President of the Russian grain Union Arkady Zlochevskiy. “The information I received not once over the years, from various sources, that the importers squeeze a huge Commission on these schemes. Scheme-the corruption,” he says. However, now the extent of undervaluation of imports declined significantly, the share of grey import could reach 25-30%, now it dropped to 5%, says a leading expert of the Institute “development Center” HSE Sergey Pukhov.

Where investigations are ongoing?

Public statements about the investigation of this scheme was only Moldavian, Latvian and Estonian officials, in particular, the President of Moldova Igor Dodon and the representatives of the economic police of Latvia and the criminal police of Estonia. The authorities of Russia and the UK, the banks which are associated with money laundering, did not confirm the information about the investigation.

“These are serious accusations, and we will investigate all reports, which will be available in our disposal”, — stated in received by RBC statement of the representative of the Inspectorate for control over the financial activities of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Bureau UK fraud in especially large sizes (Serious Fraud Office, SFO) in response to a request to RBC neither confirmed nor denied information about the interest in this case. According to the representative of the SFO, the following statements are made in three instances: when the company receives notification of the beginning of the investigation and considers it necessary to inform the market; when the investigation seeks to obtain information from victims; when companies officially been charged.

RBC sent a request to the press service of the FCS and is awaiting a response.

Featuring Anna Mogilevskaya, Svetlana Burmistrova

Delinquent loans will impose a tax

Photo: Dmitry Feoktistov / TASS

Banks began to actively inform the tax authorities about write off bad loans to individuals. With these amounts Dodgers will pay the tax to incomes of physical persons. Non-payment is fraught with the courts, seizure of property and other issues up to the ban on travel abroad

Not only debtors telecommunication companies, whose debts had to be written off, may face claims of the tax authorities, of which RBC was told on Tuesday, March 21. Soon citizens — debtors for loans whose debt was recognized as hopeless and are written off by banks, can also get a tax claim. As has shown poll of banks, conducted by RBC, they in a mass order began to inform the tax service about the persons, whose debts were recognized as hopeless, and amounts of debt relief. Tax, in turn, is considered unpaid and uncollected debt economic benefit subject to taxation on incomes of physical persons (13%).

Amendments to the Tax code (PP. 5 paragraph 1 article 223), which entered into force on 1 January 2016, apply to debts deemed to be uncollectible and written off starting in 2016. Now, when it comes to deadline citizens tax returns for personal income tax over the past year, banks and other organizations dealing with debtors-defaulters, began to inform the tax authorities.

Banks saluted

All respondents RBC bankers have confirmed that the Tax code of the Russian Federation is executed strictly, and the tax authorities sent information about written-off loans physical persons.

“Banks are obliged to inform the tax office and our Bank performs this responsibility,” — said RBC chief accountant of Nordea Bank Tatiana Sharova. We are talking about debts that were written off by banks as uncollectible as of 2016, she said. “Arrears on loans could have formed in the past, but a basis for informing the tax is the fact of write-off”, she explained. “In most cases we are talking about loans, arrears which formed about three years ago. This term is established in the civil code as the minimum period for recognition of the debt uncollectible. 90% of the banks in its approach to debt relief that are guided.”

“Performing a specified provision of the Tax code, from March 1, we began to form our list of borrowers with overdue more than three years; this information, as well as information about the amount of debt will be transferred to the tax authorities. Further, with such payers on tax benefits will be dealt with the tax authorities”, — said Deputy Chairman of the Bank “Avangard” Vladimir Andreev.

“The Bank gave information about written-off loans in full, the transfer takes place once a year,” said RBC risk Director retail, small and medium business PSB Eugene Ivanov.

“Data on the amount of debt individuals, to be uncollectible and written off from the balance sheet of the Bank for 2016, was transferred to the tax office by March 1. When transmitting data, the Bank notifies tax authorities and the taxpayer about the availability of debt in the amount of resulting income and obligations to pay tax. These clients are required to provide to the tax authority at the place of their registration the appropriate tax Declaration and pay the tax,” — said the chief accountant, Deputy Director, financial Department, VTB 24 Svetlana Emelyanova.

The tax issues

Personal income tax accrued and was charged with debts written off earlier, says the managing partner of the company “Lamczyk, Krupsky and partners.” That when the debt relief by the creditor from the debtor economic benefit occurs, in the information letters he wrote, the Ministry of Finance and the FTS. These same amendments in the tax code indicate which date should be considered the moment of receipt of income. “Before, there was no consensus about whether taxpayers pay taxes if they write off the debt. Amendments to the Tax code put things in this order, indicated when there is the income,” he explains.

Filing of documents in Federal tax service Inspectorate

Photo: Anton vergun / TASS

In a press-service FNS explained that the written off debt as income on the basis that the debtor receives the benefit “in the form of cost savings to repay the debt”. Date, forgiven when the debtor received this “income” shall be the date of debiting of the payment. Since then, he is subject to personal income tax at a rate of 13%.

If the debt was written off the debtor until January 1, 2016, it must provide the Declaration for personal income tax not later than 30 April 2017 at the place of registration and until July 15 to pay the assessed tax. If the debt was written off later, to file a tax return is not required: the personal income tax should be paid before December 1, on the basis of tax notices and receipts, which circulate on. The basis for this newsletter is information about bad debt passed on to tax creditors, the largest of which are banks.

The tax reserves the right not to send notice of the arrears of personal income tax, if the debt is less than 100 RUB (that is debt written off was less than 750 rubles). The cost of sending a notification just does not justify itself, says Lenchik. But if the taxpayer owns property or transportation, the notice of this small debt pit will come with the notification about the property tax. For example, if an annual notice is sent for the payment of the transport tax and property tax, then the tax authority has the opportunity to include these 100 RUB in this annual notification.

The issue price

In the statistics of the Bank of Russia overdue loans are not separated by the period of delay, also does not provide the volume of written-off bad debts by years. However, the extent of retail banking write-offs of bad loans in 2016 (namely write-offs during this period and banks inform the tax authorities) can be seen in reports of credit organizations according to IFRS. Of the largest banks according to IFRS for the last year reported, in particular, Sberbank, VTB and Alfa-Bank.

Retail bad loans they wrote off at 73 billion rubles, RUR 61 billion and $225 million (at the current exchange rate of the Central Bank is about 13 billion rubles), respectively. However, because IFRS consolidated, is the amount of debt for all banks within these groups. Collectively, the three banks have written off 147 billion rubles, 13% of this amount is about 19 billion rubles.

An invitation to the court

However, as pointed out by lawyers, despite the impressive scale, the prospects for recovery of these funds is ambiguous. “People do not pay on the loan so that the loan had to be written off, are unlikely to voluntarily pay the tax with the resulting economic benefits from it, — says head of analytical Department of legal firm “Intralux” Olga Pleshanova. — Then the tax authorities will have to go to court.” To sue in small amounts of tax our own peril, she continues. “In the tax code has a threshold of 3 thousand. RUB., in the General case, the recovery through the courts are subject to a tax claim in the amount of 3 thousand rubles., — said Pleshanova. — The tax authorities, however, have the right to stash smaller claim within three years cumulatively and then recover, but it takes time.”

In addition, the court’s decision will still have to perform, continues…. Often delinquent on loans come from socially disadvantaged segments of society. If they have no employment, property or other income, to collect means in practice will be problematic for the tax. However, those who have something material and other costs and trouble, including, for example, the ban on travel abroad will be provided, she added.

For everyone

Problems can arise not only Bank borrowers but all in all debtors-defaulters. According to respondents RBC experts, to inform the tax authorities should any creditors, whether microfinance institutions (MFIs), pawnshops and even collectors. “If the outstanding debt was sold, the obligation to inform the tax authorities about his cancellation goes to the one who bought it,” says Tatiana Sharova. Partner of the Law Bureau A2 Mikhail Alexandrov said: “the rule is universal for all organizations, whether a Bank or an LLC. If your organization is issued a loan, which later was made cancellation of outstanding bad debts, it is obliged to provide such information to the tax office”.

However, other creditors do not consider it necessary to fulfill the rule of law. Among the respondents, RBC manifolds and MFIs did not find any company transmitting information about written-off debt to the IRS.