Main takeaways from our visits to Moscow and St Petersburg

Russia remains at the top of the world’s low cost producers of oil (est. cost $4/barrel) and gas thanks to the decline in Ruble and revenue in US $. Given the massive devaluation of the Ruble, Russia is able to hold balanced budgets unlike its Middle East competitors who have pegged their currency to the US $. Oil and gas have gone from being close to 50% of GDP in 2000 to 16% in 2016. Sanctions have had a positive effect on domestic production and agriculture that most developed markets have failed to recognize. Magnit, Russia’s largest food retailer, now offers 90% domestic assortment whereas the majority was imported prior to the sanctions.¬†More