The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №4(26)

Motivations of Russian firms to invest abroad: how do sanctions affect Russia’s outward foreign direct investment?

Abstract

In 2013, Russia’s outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) soared and the OFDI stock exceeded $ 500 billion. However, a year later, Russia’s OFDI dropped by nearly 15 per cent. Rapid upward and downward swings make it necessary to analyze the motivation of Russian firms to invest abroad as well as to assess the impact of sanctions on Russian OFDI. The author points out that a significant part of Russia’s outward FDI stock is accounted for by the operations of Russian corporations in their home market. It is concluded that although Western sanctions target a relatively small number of Russian citizens and companies, they nevertheless affect some of Russia’s key people, largest banks, and hydrocarbon producers. Therefore, their direct impact could be substantial. Alongside the direct impact, one should consider their indirect impact, such as the tumbling rouble exchange rate and Russian banks’ increasing interest rates, which decrease Russian firms’ capability to invest abroad. Moreover, a less amicable politic al atmosphere in the West may push some Russian corporations out of the Western markets and diminish the enthusiasm of new ones to enter them. Today, Russia’s counter-sanctions do not directly restrict the country’s OFDI, but Russian state-owned enterprises may reach a decision to hold foreign investments to support Russia’s sanction policy.

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The Baltic economic model: some results of the 1990—2015 transformations

Abstract

During the last 25 years, the economy of the Baltic States has been developing in the conditions of sovereignty, both de facto and de jure. This period has been sufficient to identify regular patterns in the national economic models. Studies into the nature of the economic development of the Baltic States have a considerable practical and scientific significance. On the one hand, the three Baltic States are a part of the post-Soviet space. The nature, success or failures of their economies contribute to a more accurate assessment of Russia’s development. On the other hand, it is the second decade of the Baltic States’ EU membership, and the countries’ experience is very relevant. The article identifies and analyses key characteristics of the Baltic States’ economic model. The author puts forward a hypothesis on two stages of the economic transformation undergone by the Baltic States. The first stage is characterised by a combination of transformation and modernisation whereas the second - by transformation accompanied by a number of destructive trends in the economy. The current economic model demonstrates limited stability, partly due to deliberately severed economic ties with Russia.

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