This article investigates the behavior of the Russian government bond yields and its sensitivity to a selected range of macroeconomic, monetary, international and event factors. The analysis concerns both individual and joint, short-term and long-term influence of factors under study, with emphasis to the most informative determinants of yields. In whole the results of the empirical study using monthly data from 2003 to 2009 indicate a major significant role of changes in monetary factors, notably the minimum repo rate and the interbank interest rate, as well as of foreign exchange rate risk factor. Joint influence of theoretical fundamentals, namely inflation and its expectations, exchange rate and money supply growth, explain less than a third of bond yields movements. On the other hand, no importance of GDP and domestic debt growth as well as of external risk factors, such as oil prices, foreign interest rates and changes in international reserves is found. Also the results provide evidence for the fact that most government bond yields respond to certain political and economic events and reflect crisis changes of the market.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.