"The market has fallen a long way, and there's a shortage of capital," Bonderman stated, adding that "if you're a mid-to-long term investor, the Russian market has some attractions to it."
David Bonderman believes that with regards to business, #Russia is a fine place to invest— MI GC Regions (@MIGCRegions) 29 апреля 2015
Late last year, sanctions and falling oil prices saw economic growth come to a halt, with the ruble taking a major hit against the dollar and the euro and the stock market tumbling. But the Russian economy has quickly bounced back, with the ruble skyrocketing 25-30 percent against the dollar and the euro over the past three months, and the Russian stock market growing 20 percent since January.
Commenting on the sanctions slapped on Russia by Western countries over the crisis in Ukraine, Bonderman argued that "sanctions are perfectly set up not to work at all but to make a political statement." They "are designed to be an irritant, not to be effective. There isn't any will to have effective sanctions," he added.
The businessman noted that "the restrictions create the opportunity to make more money. For many investors, Russia looks very attractive. It's such a huge market…We made more money in Russia than in any other country."
Vardanyan added that the ruble's decline last year left the majority of the economy unaffected, with 90 percent of the population not in the habit of purchasing imported goods anyway.
The panel, moderated by Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler, uniformly condemned US sanctions policy as ineffective and short-sighted, with Bonderman pointing out that it was only pushing Russia into the arms of China.
Last year's outflow of European and American capital from the Russian economy and the rise in undervalued ruble-denominated assets has seen a surge of investment from developing markets from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Putin added that the country must now work to create conditions to open the economy for international investments: "Attracting private investors must be a benefit for the economy and not a problem. Attracting private investments is one of the general paths of economic development," the president noted.