Who is exposed to Russia?

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1 Deutsche Bank Research Europe Economics Data Flash Date 20 March 2014 Who is exposed to Russia? Gilles Moec Marco Stringa, CFA Chief Economist Economist (+44) (+44) We see three main channels through which the ongoing crisis in Ukraine could impact the economy in the rest of the world. First, non-resident financial institutions could be affected if, in retaliation for sanctions, Russia decided to embark on asset grabbing, or if the creditworthiness of Russian assets materially declined as a consequence of an escalating crisis. Second, world trade could be affected by a drop in Russian imports, either as a consequence of some trading bans, or more likely through contraction in Russian demand stemming from a sudden stop in external financial flows. Third, in retaliation for sanctions, disruptions in Russian supply could impair economic activity in countries that are dependent on Russian energy. These channels are naturally mutually reinforcing (e.g., a drop in the Russian supply of energy would reduce import growth and creditworthiness in Russia). On all these counts, the European Union would come firmly first among those affected. However, we believe that in order for European growth to be materially impacted, an extreme scenario would need to unfold, with a deep recession in Russia similar to what was seen at the time of the Ruble crisis in 1998 and large spillover to the Eastern part of the European Union. More than such a dramatic scenario, our main concern is that the Ukrainian crisis creates a diffuse sense of uncertainty in Europe, adding to the questions hanging over the emerging markets in general and China in particular, as well as to the difficulties of making sense of the recent dataflow in the US, potentially creating a wait-and-see attitude, which would be detrimental to the ongoing subdued recovery in the Euro area. The financial channel: who could be hit? Freezing Russian assets held in the US and the EU could be one of the next steps in terms of sanctions. Here we need to consider a case in which Moscow might retaliate by freezing foreign assets in Russia, or where the creditworthiness of Russian assets could materially decline as a consequence of an escalating crisis. BIS statistics provide a good indication of the implications of such a move for the international banking sector. Figure 1: Banks claims over Russia in 2012/2013 Claims (USDbn) % of total bank assets Other potential claims (USD bn) % of total bank assets France Germany Italy Spain Netherlands nd nd Austria* nd nd Sweden UK US Japan *2012 data Source: BIS, Deutsche Bank. The data pertain to Q for ordinary assets (except for Austria) and to Q for other potential claims. Deutsche Bank AG/London DISCLOSURES AND ANALYST CERTIFICATIONS ARE LOCATED IN APPENDIX 1. MICA(P) 054/04/2013.

2 In absolute terms, French banks are by far the most exposed, with USD 51bn claims (loans and securities) over Russia in Q However, these claims must be compared with total bank assets in each country to get a sense of the systemic impact that an asset freeze or deterioration in the creditworthiness of Russian assets could have. Austria then comes out with the highest ratio (1.4%), followed by the Netherlands and Italy. Still, at 0.5% of total bank assets, we would regard the French ratio as significant, especially in a period of pressure on capital ratios We suspect these risks are fairly tightly concentrated in a small number of banks in each country which adds to the systemic risk since lending outside of the Euro area is not an operation on which bread and butter institutions would easily embark. At the other end of the European spectrum, in Germany and even more so in Spain, exposure to Russian risk through the financial channel is very limited (respectively 0.2% and less than 0.1%). In aggregate, the sensitivity of the European banking sector to Russian risk is significantly larger than that of its American and Japanese counterparts. True, the picture changes once one adds to claims over Russia what the BIS classifies as other exposure (derivative contracts, guarantees and trade credit). Indeed, the US banking sector s wealth at risk on Russia then rises by USD 92bn, to a grand total twice as large as France s. Yet, the overwhelming majority of this other exposure comes from guarantees, which probably reflect CDS contracts underwritten by large international banks located in the US (as well as in the UK). As long as Russia does not default on its securities, this contingent liability would have little impact on the international banking sector. Note that beyond asset freezes or deterioration in credit worthiness, the international financial system may have to deal with the potential disruptions stemming from a possible ban on trading with Russian financial institutions. This could have implications for liquidity and profits, but data on this type of relationship is too patchy to make any attempt at quantification worthwhile. The exports channel: who could be hit if Russian demand declines? The political uncertainties in Russia have already triggered capital outflows, resulting in a decline in equity prices, an increase in bond yields and depreciation in the Ruble. The Russian central bank has already reacted by hiking its policy rate to 7%, bringing it into positive territory, in real terms, for the first time since a fairly brief period between January and June This is occurring against an already challenging macroeconomic background for Russia, where GDP grew by a paltry 0.6% yoy in Q Investment growth has been in negative territory since Q Page 2 Deutsche Bank AG/London

3 Figure 2: Financial conditions are tightening in Russia Key policy rate (new)* Key policy rate (old)* Inflation Sovereign yield >1y 0 Jan-04 Jan-07 Jan-10 Jan-13 * In September 2013 the Bank of Russia streamlined its interest rate structure equating the one-week depo and repo rates and introducing this as the bank's key policy rate. Historically the overnight refinancing rate had effectively been the key policy rate. Source: Bank of Russia, Haver, Deutsche Bank Figure 3: where the economy had already weakened before the Ukraine crisis GDP -10 Investment -15 (RHS) Q Q Q Q Q1 Source: Federal Statistics Service, Deutsche Bank If the turmoil continues, Russia may have to choose between two fairly uncomfortable solutions: either tolerating further depreciation in the currency, fuelling internal inflation, or resisting it by continuing to tighten monetary policy and thus dampening domestic income. In both cases, Russian purchasing power with respect to the rest of the world would decline. Russia accounts for a small share of world growth and imports (see Figure 4). Russia is about the same economic size as Brazil, and is smaller than France or Germany. China s share in world imports is five times larger than that of Russia. This means that the first-round impact of a slump in Russian economic activity on the global economy could be relatively muted. However, Russia matters a lot for some exporters. Figure 4: The weight of Russia in the global economy should not be overstated 12.0 Figure 5: but Russian imports are concentrated in a few suppliers % of world GDP (current USD) % of world imports Others 17% EA 31% Japan 5% CIS 13% UK + Sweden 4% 0.0 Russia China Turkey Brazil Poland France Germany South Korea US 3% 5% China 16% Eastern EU 6% Source:IMF, Deutsche Bank Source: Customs data, Deutsche Bank Indeed, Russian imports are heavily concentrated in geographical terms. Nearly one-third comes from the Euro area (31%); the Eastern EU members outside of the monetary union (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania) account for another 6%. China is also a large supplier to Russia (16% of total imports) and, quite intuitively, CIS countries (13%), including Ukraine itself (6%). Conversely, the US and Japan play only a marginal role (5% each). What matters then is the mirror image of this breakdown, e.g. how important Russia is for its main suppliers. Deutsche Bank AG/London Page 3

4 A slump in Russian demand, taken in isolation, is unlikely to trigger any significant macro impact on the Chinese economy, since Russia absorbs only 2.4% of total Chinese exports, equivalent to only 0.5% of GDP. Russia absorbs 4.7% of total Euro area exports. This is far from negligible, as it is equivalent to roughly two-thirds of the share of China in Euro area exports. In Western Europe, Germany is the most exposed to the trade risk. Russia accounts for 3.1% of total German exports 1 and 1.5% of GDP. French, Italian and Spanish exposures are much more limited, not necessarily so much when looking at the share of Russia in their exports, but rather because overall exports represent a smaller share of their GDP than in Germany. However, even in these cases Russia is not completely insignificant. The French government stated on Monday of this week that it could contemplate cancelling the shipment of two military ships built in France to Russia, for a value of EUR1.2bn. Given the less-than-robust state of French foreign trade (and the French economy in general), this is a sensitive issue. We also need to highlight the situation for Finland. While it accounts for a small share of Euro area GDP, its sensitivity to Russian demand is the highest in the Euro area (9.9% of total Finnish exports). In addition, Finland is also one of the most dependent countries across the EU on Russia for energy (see the next section). It is very difficult to quantify how much Russian imports could fall if turmoil continues. We propose here some backward reasoning : what kind of decline in Russian GDP would be needed to generate a drop in imports that would have a significant impact on German GDP? For the direct impact on the German economy to reach 0.5% of GDP ignoring the positive second-round effects on German imports and the negative secondround effects on German employment and investment we calculate that exports to Russia would have to fall by some 30%. As can be seen in Figure 7, the elasticity of overall imports to GDP growth is high in Russia (3.1). To be more specific, the statistical relationship between Russian GDP growth and German exports to Russia is less tight (see Figure 8), but the elasticity is a bit higher (3.5) than on total imports, which probably reflects German exporters specialization on capital goods (capex is the most volatile component of GDP). With an elasticity of 3.5, we calculate that it would take a contraction in Russian GDP of 8.6% to elicit the chains of events that in the end would shave 0.5 pp off German GDP. Figure 6: % of Russia in total exports of goods Country Exports Austria 2.5 Belgium 1.6 Bulgaria 2.7 Cyprus 0.7 Czech Republic 3.1 Denmark 1.9 Estonia 10.7 Finland 9.9 France 2.1 Germany 3.1 Greece 1.7 Hungary 3.0 Ireland 0.7 Italy 2.6 Latvia 11.5 Lithuania 18.9 Luxembourg 1.1 Malta 0.7 Netherlands 1.3 Poland 5.5 Portugal 0.7 Romania 2.3 Slovakia 4.2 Slovenia 3.5 Spain 1.3 Sweden 2.0 UK 1.8 EU Source: National Customs, UNCTAD, Deutsche Bank 1 Note that Eurozone export figures do not comprise intra-ea trade, whereas national exports do, hence the share of Russia in German exports looks weak relative to the Euro area figure. Page 4 Deutsche Bank AG/London

5 Figure 7: Strong elasticity of imports to GDP growth in Russia GDP growth y = 3.1x R² = Source: Deutsche Bank Import growth Figure 8: Specifically, imports of German products seem to be particularly sensitive to cyclical gyrations GDP growth y = 3.5x R² = Source: Deutsche Bank German exports to Russia This is obviously quite extreme, but not unprecedented. Even before the Great Recession of 2008/2009 (Russian GDP fell 10.7% yoy in Q2 2009), GDP contracted by 8.9% yoy during the Ruble crisis of 1998, triggering a decline in German exports to Russia of 57% yoy (i.e more than what the average elasticity would have predicted, which is understandable given the depreciation in the Russian currency). A replication of the ruble crisis would be at the extreme of the political outcomes we might expect from the ongoing turmoil. Our EM economists have lowered their forecasts for Russian GDP growth in 2014 from 2.4% to 0.6%, nowhere near the range that would be consistent with an 8-10% shock. To witness such a massive decline in GDP, we would likely need to see a complete collapse in the Russian financial system, which is hard to imagine without a dramatic escalation in tension between Moscow and the West. This would probably be a configuration where Russian supply of energy to the rest of Europe would be disrupted. The energy channel and the second-round effects from Eastern Europe Europe s dependence on Russian energy supply (gas in particular) is now wellknown. Much is being said about Germany in particular. However, while the share of Russia in German energy imports is significant, it is not overwhelming (1/5 th for coal, a bit more than 1/4 th for oil and a bit more than 1/3 rd for gas). In northwestern Europe, Finland is the most dependent (100% for gas and more than 2/3 on oil). But the most striking feature is the dependence of the Eastern part of the EU (with the exception of Romania, which can count on its own resources) on imports from Russia. Deutsche Bank AG/London Page 5

6 Figure 9: The Eastern members of the EU as well as Finland are very dependent on imports of energy from Russia Imp orts from Russia, % of total imp orts: 2012* Country Coal Petroleum Gas Austria Belgium Czech Republic Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland 0.6 N.A N.A Italy Netherlands Poland Slovakia Spain N.A UK N.A EU Source: UNCTAD, BP Statistical Review * 1. Natural gas data is from BP statistical review, as UNCTAD data was underestimating gas imports 2. Natural Gas data is for Europe (continent) and not EU27 Source: UNCTAD, BP statistical review, Deutsche Bank Two different possibilities have been frequently mentioned. First, a mild scenario where only the share of Russian gas supply transiting via Ukraine is hit as part of the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. This would create specific issues for southeastern Europe but not for Germany as the northern route would still be open. Second, a peak scenario in which Russia would cut or reduce its supply to Europe across the board. The latter would be particularly harmful to Moscow itself since exports of energy to Europe account for 38% of total Russian exports. The GIE (Gas Infrastructures Europe) federation of EU gas operators sent out a reassuring communique last week, pointing to: i) the versatility of the European grid, which would allow some West/East flows and bring liquefied gas (possibly from the US) to replace what would be lost from a cut in Russian supply, and (ii) the high level of stocks after a mild winter. However, the statement was ambiguous as to the capacity to deal with a complete severance of Russian gas supply, i.e. including the North Stream. Using the GIE data, we can estimate how long Germany could hold out without any Russian supply. Current gas inventories represent around 15% of annual consumption. Two-thirds of gas imports come from non-russian suppliers. This means that, should Russia completely turn the tap off (again, a decision that would be extremely costly for Moscow), Germany would be roughly 20% short on its annual consumption (which could probably be plugged by more shipments from non-russian suppliers, assuming no technical issues arise). Tensions would probably not emerge before next winter, since gas consumption is low during spring and summer. One issue, however, would be how gas could be brought to the more dependent Eastern European neighbours of Germany in this manageable but still tense configuration in Germany alone. The issue for us, though, is not necessarily what would happen in a catastrophic scenario where energy supply in eastern EU would be severed, triggering so much disruption in economic activity there that a recession would Page 6 Deutsche Bank AG/London

7 ensue, with large spill-over effects for Western Europe given the extreme trade integration of the two sub-regions. After all, even at the height of the cold war, Russia always supplied energy to the West. We are more concerned with the negative confidence effect that the crisis could trigger. Indeed, the Ukrainian crisis creates a diffuse sense of uncertainty in Europe, adding to the questions hanging over the emerging markets in general and China in particular, as well as to the difficulties of making sense of the recent dataflow in the US, potentially leading to a wait-and-see attitude, which would be detrimental to the ongoing subdued recovery in the Euro area. Deutsche Bank AG/London Page 7

8 Appendix 1 Important Disclosures Additional information available upon request For disclosures pertaining to recommendations or estimates made on securities other than the primary subject of this research, please see the most recently published company report or visit our global disclosure look-up page on our website at Analyst Certification The views expressed in this report accurately reflect the personal views of the undersigned lead analyst(s). In addition, the undersigned lead analyst(s) has not and will not receive any compensation for providing a specific recommendation or view in this report. Gilles Moec Page 8 Deutsche Bank AG/London

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