Russian stocks rallied this month after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly refrained from reducing monetary stimulus, stoking appetite for riskier assets. The U.S. government stands poised for its first partial shutdown in 17 years at midnight tonight, after a weekend with no signs of negotiations or compromise from either the House or Senate to avert it. Crude retreated 1.3 percent to $101.51 in New York . The Russian market is sensitive to the conflict inside the U.S., Aleksei Belkin, who helps manage about $4.4 billion in assets as chief investment officer at Kapital Asset Management LLC in Moscow, said by phone. Although were seeing a small drop after a rally, Russian stocks have potential to rise next quarter. Even after this months rally, Russian equities have the cheapest valuations among 21 emerging economies tracked by Bloomberg. The Micex (INDEXCF) Indexs 12-month estimated price-to-earnings ratio was at 4.3 today, compared with a multiple of 10.4 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. TNK-BP Buyout OAO RN Holding jumped 5.9 percent to 63.75 rubles, extending the 12 percent gain on Sept. 27. The board of directors of owner OAO Rosneft approved the buyout of minority shareholders at 67 rubles an ordinary share and 55 rubles a preferred share. Rosneft took over TNK-BP, which was renamed RN Holding this year, after a decade-long partnership between BP Plc and a group of billionaires soured, becoming the worlds biggest publicly traded oil producer by volume. Minority shareholders who accept the offer will receive just half of the price for their shares that the oligarchs and the big foreign major got for theirs, Sberbank CIB analysts said in an e-mailed note today.
The Swedish photographer duo Annica Karlsson Rixon and Anna Viola Hallberg’s “State of Mind” (2006-8) consists of personal stories and group video portraits of Russian lesbian and bisexual women and their friends and family discussing issues of LGBT identity and East/West dynamics. The subjects, casually posed in places of significance to them in the city, such as along the banks of the Neva River in St. Petersburg, project a mix of emotions — joy, exuberance, hope, pride, comfort. The video portion presents filmed conversations with the subjects, viewed simultaneously to create an approximation of the community as a congregation of voices. The installation has been shown in St. Petersburg, as well as in Ukraine, Sweden, and the United States at UC Berkeley’s Worth Ryder Art Gallery . A June 2013 Russian federal law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” broad in its implications, is now being used to censor film. Russia’s federal oversight organization recently issued a warning to a popular movie channel for airing a French musical, Les Chansons d’Amour (2007), for its alleged “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.” Local and federal laws banning “homosexual propaganda” have been enacted from 2006 to 2013, sparking fears that they could be used against visiting Olympic athletes and tourists. For foreign citizens found guilty of “homosexual propaganda,” there is a penalty of fifteen days in prison followed by an entry ban. Transgender Russians and LGBT teens are particularly vulnerable. For example, one Russian neo-Nazi group hunts for gay teens to abuse and humiliate, disseminating video of the attacks through social networks on the Internet.