US newspaper: Record investment helps Russia survive sanctions

Photo captions
A Russian oil refinery. Photo: The Moscow Times/VNA

According to the data, capital spending increased by 6% last year, while many economists predict it to fall by as much as 20% soon after the Ukraine conflict broke out.

In a recent report, the Central Bank of Russia said that most Russian enterprises will increase their investment in 2022 or keep at the same level as the previous year. As a result, output fell by just 2%, much lower than economists had predicted when the sanctions were first announced.

Sanctions have prevented Russia from accessing many imports, forcing Russian companies to increase capital spending to manufacture, replace foreign equipment and software that are currently unavailable, or invest in establish new routes to secure supplies from alternative markets.

According to the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat), four out of the five most capital-intensive sectors of the Russian economy have increased investment spending, including transport, mining, real estate and science and technology. .

Severstal – one of Russia’s largest steel producers – has shifted investment in projects at risk of disruption due to sanctions to investment in information technology for the metal industry.

Big banks like Sber and VTB are also investing to replace foreign software. Last month, those banks planned to release stickers containing NFC chips to replace foreign touchless payment services that no longer work in Russia, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

According to a study by real estate company NF Group, total investment in the commercial real estate industry in 2022 reached a historic high of 487.2 billion rubles ($6.8 billion), 21% higher than the previous year. with 2021.

“The total amount of investment reached a record with the proportion of foreign capital remaining at a minimum. Russian investors are becoming the owners of the majority of high-end properties in different segments and this trend is likely to continue until companies leaving the Russian market sell off properties. theirs,” the NF Group report states.

Meanwhile, oil and gas producers have also increased spending on transport infrastructure or on the reorientation of exports from the West.

Many businesses also benefit from government grants and import substitution assistance programs. According to Rosstat, state funds are one of the largest sources of capital expenditure, accounting for about 17.8%.

“The hard times will pass, while the projects will survive,” said Sergey Yanchukov, head of the Mangazeya group, a multidisciplinary company whose main activities are mining, building and developing gold. . The projects are long-term, so we won’t stop any of them.”

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