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Sberbank Delays Investment Forum Amid Ukraine Crisis

Former minister and Sberank head German Gref speaking at last year’s Russia Forum conference in Moscow.

Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, has decided to postpone its Russia Forum business conference until the fall.

The company said that the decision was made due to "the uncertain economic dynamics and elevated volatility in capital markets" caused by international tensions over the situation in Ukraine,  Reuters reported Wednesday.

The forum, a major international business conference scheduled to be held in Moscow from April 10 to 12, is dedicated to discussing economic and social-political issues, as well as investment opportunities in Russia.

Past attendees have included figures such as President Vladimir Putin and Alan Greenspan, ex-chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. The 2013 Russia Forum was attended by more than 2,000 people from 40 countries.

VTB Capital, the investment arm of Russia's second-largest bank VTB, had earlier cancelled its April investment forum in New York. The 2013 forum, titled "Russia is Calling," focused on Russian financial issues and meetings between Russian corporations and investors.

"We have rescheduled our NY event in order to ensure the availability of keynote speakers and to confirm those dates that will be convenient for the forum's target audience," Olga Podoinitsyna, a member of the board at VTB Capital, said in a statement.


The investment climate for Russia has become increasingly frosty. Russian retailer Lenta's February IPO opened on the London Stock Exchange to weak investor interest, as Westerners became skittish because of the crisis in Ukraine.

Obuv Rossii, a Russian shoe retailer, announced that it would postpone their IPO on Wednesday. Children's goods retailer Detsky Mir and the Russian arm of German retail and wholesale giant Metro had also planned IPOs for the second quarter of the year, but it is likely that they will postpone their plans at least till autumn, Natalya Kolupaeva, an analyst for Raiffeisen bank, told The Moscow Times.

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