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Russian Innovation 2012

The past period was marked by the triumph of the Russian Internet in the world. First Russian Internet market has overtaken the French one by the number of users, now it is rapidly overtaking German online space and is preparing to become number one in Europe. Then in November 2010, Group hold an IPO on the London Stock Exchange as a result of which it was placed 16.8% shares on the top of the range with an estimate price of business of $ 5.71 billion. In May 2011 Yandex’s IPO took place on NASDAQ, where the Company was estimated at $8 billion and earned more than any of the Internet companies of the world since Google’s IPO in 2004. Parallel to this, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announces the general course of the modernization of the economy, and "Russian Silicon Valley" – Skolkovo innovation city near Moscow is building rapidly.

According to Dmitriy Kashaev, Head of Product Development, LIFE Financial Group, "The successful placement of Group and Yandex was not only important for these companies, but has spurred the interest of foreign investors in Russian Internet market. Although the Russian economy has traditionally a raw produce orientation, the successful placement of Internet businesses proves that Russia has a huge potential for innovation, which has a positive effect on its investment image. Buying shares of Group and Yandex, investors bought the right to participate in the development of the whole Russian Internet system. The perspectives of growth in this particular sector are enormous – about a half of Russians go online regularly.

The interest to Russian innovative market is also influenced positively by great financial performance of Internet companies. Both Group and Yandex have shown an outstanding high efficiency and profitability. In addition, Yandex is one of a few search engines in the world, which wins over Google on the Russian market. Group has its own special feature it’s the only way for investors who buy public shares to participate in the growth of the value of Facebook, Groupon, Zynga. It’s a good opportunity ahead of IPO Facebook, scheduled for the first half of 2012 as well. I have no doubt that the limit of 100 billion capitalizations will fall at the time of placement. That will effect positively on the quotes of the Group. The high estimate of Facebook will affect its trend and the real factors of the company and its unique market position.

Going back to the Internet sector in Russia, I believe that the coming 2012 – is a year of the boom, newcomers and start-ups in the Russian Internet. And TechCrunch Moscow 2011 confirms this. We have seen a lot of ideas, commands, starts, new start-ups, interest from Russian and foreign investors – and we believe that 2012 will bring us to about a dozen new projects with a high attractiveness for investors."

According to Head of Research of the "Life" Fiancial Group, Valery Piven, "The successful placement of and Yandex was influenced by several factors. has demonstrated a significant positive trend of financial indicators. Rising EBITDA and net profit since 2009 has exceeded 60%, which allowed the company to enter the world leaders for these indicators. The local specifics was also significant in these terms. Nowadays, the number of users in Russia growth rapidly and promises to live behind other European countries. Besides, the Russians, according to statistics, spend on social networks significantly more time than the average worldwide user. The structure of the Company includes leading national Russian social networks – sites Classmates, My World and VKontakte. The prevalence of these networks creates unique opportunities to enhance advertising sales. Yandex is the largest Internet company in the amount of sales in 2010 – and remains the most popular search engine in Russia, which also creates a good opportunity to attract advertisers. In the near future the company can continue its development as a single organism, achieving maximum synergy. may try to capitalize its other brands such as or ICQ in the future."

In its report, Valery Piven touched on the well-known project of Skolkovo, saying that "If successful," Skolkovo "may increase the attractiveness of Russian innovation companies and improve the investment image of Russia abroad."

Also, on TechCrunch Moscow LIFE Financial Group presented the Russian edition of the "Reinventing Financial Services What Consumers Expect from Future Banks and Insurers" written by Reggie and Roger de Phoenix Peverelli. This book about innovation in the financial sector was issued by Financial Times last year – and the LIFE Financial Group was the only Russian bank, which entered the U.S. edition.

The "Life" Financial Group – is a Russian financial holding company that unites 7 independent commercial banks with significant market share in their regions where they are present. The banks of the Group have been working on the Russian financial market more than 16 years. The Group is represented by 500 offices in 65 regions of Russia. The total number of Group employees exceeds 8,500. On April 1, 2011 FG "Life" was serving 33,000 businesses and 1,2 million persons. According to the consolidated financial statement, at the end of 2010 the assets of the Financial Group Life amounted to 2,67 bln euro and the credit portfolio for the same reporting period stood at over 1,25 bln euro. The group holds 11th place in the volume of unsecured loans issued in 2010 and 11th place in the number of loans granted to small and medium-sized businesses in Russia. The Life Financial Group has the international award BSC Hall of Fame as an innovator in retail banking products. In four years, its assets grew 329%, and operating income increased more than six fold. With strategy formulated at the top and executed from the bottom by all employees, FGL has made strategy everyone’s job, enjoying growth rates exceeding the overall market. The Group has a strong partnership with leading international financial organizations such as Wells Fargo, Standard Chartered, Commerzbank etc.

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