Concerns over political risk and geopolitical tension have caused investor confidence in Russia to plummet in recent months, according to research from Detail Communications, an international financial and corporate communications firm.
On a scale of 1 to 10 Russia had an average score of 5.6 for its investment climate before the current crisis, but today that score has more than halved and is now at 2.5. Around 70% of the investors surveyed gave Russia two of the lowest possible scores.
While the vast majority (92%) of the investors are either completely not worried or have slight concerns about Russia defaulting, nobody expects the Russian economy to rebound in 2015. The majority (44%) believe it will happen in 2017. Almost 20% say it will happen only in five years’ time.
“Russia is arguably facing its most challenging times in modern history,” says Timofey Pletz, CEO of Detail Communications. “For the country, 2014 was marked by tensions in Ukraine, sanctions, plummeting oil prices, change in ownership of Crimea, currency devaluation and economic recession. Needless to say, this did not go well with investors.”
By the end of the year, Pletz points out, the market capitalization of the entire Russian stock market was less than that of one single corporation: Apple.
The oil and gas sector is the industry of choice for 38% of investors. This is due to the fact that these companies benefit from a weaker ruble, most of their revenue is in foreign currency and they’re least likely to default. Metals and mining industry along with agriculture tied for second place.
Almost 50% of investors say reform and diversification of the economy is the top priority to make Russia more attractive to investors. Peace in Ukraine and lifting sanctions are in third and sixth place, respectively.
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