U.S. Census Bureau foreign trade data show that exports rose 17 percent from March through May _ the most recent months for which the data is available _ compared with the previous three months, before sanctions were imposed. The value of exports has risen in each consecutive month this year, an unusual trend in a trade relationship that historically fluctuates on a monthly basis.
Russian markets account for less than 1 percent of U.S. exports, but what the U.S. sells to Russia is largely high-tech and expensive goods, including technology and equipment for the energy sector, which faces the threat of targeted sanctions.
Robert Kahn, a senior fellow in international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the rise in exports was evidence that Russian companies were stockpiling goods with the expectation that future sanctions would prevent U.S. companies from selling to their country. Continue reading
Meet Rosneft—Russia’s third-largest oil conglomerate that is about to buy out tnk-bp. This strategic move will not only propel Rosneft to the top of Russia’s oil industry, but it will also make both of the nation’s largest oil and gas companies state owned.
tnk-bp is currently co-owned by British oil firm BP and a Russian group of billionaire investors called aar. According to Marin Katusa of Casey Research, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oil company Rosneft is about to purchase BP’s 50 percent stake in tnk-bp. The move will cost Rosneft approximately $27 billion in cash and stock. At the same time, Rosneft is trying to purchase the other 50 percent stake from aar, although this deal is yet to be finalized. In the end, according to Reuters, the deal as a whole will be worth $55 billion.
If the deal succeeds, it will be the largest purchase since Exxon bought out Mobil over a decade ago. Continue reading