In the last week of July, the US and the EU introduced another round of sanctions against Russia.
On Wednesday 16 June the US and the EU announced a new set of sanctions, including a restriction of access to US capital markets for Novatek, Rosneft, Gazprombank and VEB.
On 18 March, President Vladimir Putin accepted the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation.
Political tension over Ukraine continues to cause sustained volatility on the Russian market. The focus is on Crimea, which is likely to officially join Russia as a result of the referendum set on 16 March.
Recent political instability in Ukraine has affected the performance of Russian equities. The market has lost —12% YTD in USD terms (through to 28 February), including a 4% drop this week on the back of Ukrainian news. On a fundamental basis the exposure to Ukraine of Russian economy and listed companies is limited, even if contagion may produce selling pressure in the short term.
The tapering of the asset purchase program in the US has been expected to place EM currencies under some pressure.
On the eve of a new year, it is striking how many of the issues that confronted investors at the start of 2013 remain in place.
Over the past decade pension reform in Russia has focused on moving from the legacy distributive state pension system of the USSR to an accumulative insurance-based scheme for future generations.