St Petersburg International Economic Forum

More sanctions: Has Russia overplayed her hand?


The latest round of sanctions imposed on Russia mark an intensification of the U.S.'s attempts to wound Russia economically over perceived intervention in Ukraine.

With seven Russian government officials and 17 companies named as the target of sanctions, the list of those targeted is lengthening – but not quite enough to deliver a real blow to the country's economic prospects yet, according to economists and analysts.

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

There need to be "stronger" signals that there is more to come before the market gets really worried about Russia, according to Tim Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank.

"My sense is that Russia is determined to continue being destructive in Ukraine," he added.

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"The U.S., and its allies, are willing to continue to prove there will be a cost by gradually going through the gears, so this will continue to be credit negative for Russia."

Russia watchers are also anxiously waiting to see whether the West penalizes any companies with substantial holdings of debt or equity in the West. While several politicians have suggested that sanctions should continue whether there is a cost to Western business interests or not, there has so far been little real impact.

A downgrade of Russia's foreign currency rating by U.S. agency Standard & Poor's last week left it one notch above junk. The cost to Russia of repaying its debt, as shown in is 10-year bond yield, shot up by nearly 8 percent to 9.7 percent in the past week.

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Forecasts for Russian GDP growth have already been cut almost universally – and analysts and economists are already warning there may be further revisions to come. The current consensus for this year is around 0.5-1 percent growth.

Wealthy Russians are putting their capital into London property rather than their own country as the crisis escalates.

Small wonder that there is "a widespread lack of interest from global investors in Russian stocks," according to equity analysts at UBS.