Western sanctions encouraging Russia to build ‘independent financial structure’

Western sanctions encouraging Russia to build ‘independent financial structure’

International Business Times

Speaking to IBTimes UK, with reference to the EU’s decision to extend sanctions on Russia, Edward Mermelstein, an international attorney from law firm Rheem Bell & Mermelstein, said the extended sanctions would not worsen the economic situation in Russia, as the country has a history of remaining independent of the Western systems.

“I don’t see there being any new sanctions or any meetings that could worsen the situation, unless we are talking about totally disconnecting Russia from the American banking system and it’s very unlikely that it will happen,” Mermelstein, who focuses on Russian and East European economies, said.

“Assuming that it does, this is not the first time this has happened. The Soviet Union existed for quite a long time without being connected to the US banking systems and they did fine for 70 years.”

ibt russia

New Condo Prices Expected to Hit Record $5.9M Average in 2015, Report Says

New Condo Prices Expected to Hit Record $5.9M Average in 2015, Report Says


The average price of units in these new buildings is expected to reach a record $5.9 million this year, according to a report released Tuesday from CityRealty.

“It’s not just going to break all records in terms of price, it’s going to be the first to hit those records within the shortest period of time,” said international real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein, who completed the most deals at 15 Central Park West.


When it comes to foreigners, who’s to judge?

The Real Deal

Ed Mermelstein, a Rheem Bell & Mermelstein founding partner who works extensively with Eastern European buyers, said that “the bent on the [NYT] story which tries to indicate that foreigners are trying to siphon funds into the United States and painting it as there being possible illegalities associated with these moneys coming into the U.S. is, to a large extent, ridiculous.”

Skidding on oil

The Real Deal

Ed Mermelstein, a real estate attorney who has many Russian clients, said Russian investors have recently shifted away from high-profile, vanity condo purchases and are looking for stakes in commercial development, which can offer better returns than in their own home country. He recently closed several large deals with Russian investors that had been temporarily in limbo after the ruble’s steep decline at the end of 2014.

But Mermelstein said he’s actually seeing the economic situation in Russia help spur more investment in New York. “When the rest of the world is in havoc, the U.S., and especially New York City, is the safest and strongest place to invest,” he said, during a phone interview. 

“I’m on a plane right now going to Russia to meet with groups looking to put money into projects in New York,” he said. 

Obama’s remarks on Russia’s economy dead right: Experts


Edward Mermelstein, a New York-based attorney who works with Russian clients and advises on cross-border investments in the Russian Federation, is currently in Moscow and told CNBC that although currency controls are technically not the law, they are essentially in effect. He told CNBC that his clients cannot get their money out of Russia as of this month. “Clients who manufacture outside of Russia get paid in rubles and need to convert those funds to dollars in order to purchase and manufacture so that they can import more product into Russia,” Mermelstein said. “Today’s issue is they cannot get dollars out of the country, and so cannot purchase new products.” Banks are not processing the transfers, he said.

Tracking NYC’s co-op sales records

The Real Deal

Co-ops are also perceived by some as being more exclusive than condos. Whereas condos turn over regularly, co-ops often stay in the hands of the same families and don’t come to market that often, said real estate attorney Edward Mermelstein. “Most of the buyers along Fifth and Park avenues tend to be there for life,” Mermelstein said. There remains a gap, however. Co-op prices are yet to crack the $90 million mark set by new development condos such as Extell Development’s One57. But Mermelstein said that co-ops would continue to catch up. “It’s just inevitable,” he said. – See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/10/22/tracking-nycs-co-op-sales-records/#sthash.EcxY1rIf.dpuf

It can get scare being a Russian oil billionaire


Edward Mermelstein, a New York-based attorney for Rheem Bell & Mermelstein who works with Russian clients, told CNBC that this is just the beginning and that “more heads will roll.”

“Anyone outside the circle or in the opposition will be making contributions Roman-style,” Mermelstein said. “The ruble is tanking and I think at the rate gas is going, Russia will be paying Europe to buy it. What a mess.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev publicly said this week that the Yevtushenkov arrest could trigger more capital flight as it spooks Russia’s markets and investors.

“The buzz is that there are similar contests with Kremlin insiders and it is very likely that we will see other large corporations being either sold or wrestled from owners by those with close ties to the Kremlin,” Mermelstein said. “The idea is to consolidate power and money as the economy descends into collapse.”

Russian Investors Seek Safety in US Real Estate

Voice of America

…with tensions over Ukraine on the rise, Russian investors are changing their strategies within the American market. That’s according to U.S.-based real estate agents and lawyers who cater to clients from the former Soviet Union.

“The high times are over,” said Edward Mermelstein, a New York lawyer who represents foreign investors in the U.S., including many Russians.

“It’s now mainly a flight to safety in American markets,”said Mermelstein.

Nervous Ukrainian money en route to New York’s safe haven

They are not just focusing on New York, but New York is the strongest center,” said Edward Mermelstein, a Ukrainian-born lawyer who helps wealthy Eastern Europeans invest in New York real estate. “In the media, the city is always portrayed as the safest bet. It also has prestige.”

Mermelstein said he has been speaking with clients on an hourly basis in recent weeks, which is more often than usual. Most of the callers were not from Russia or Ukraine, but from countries like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan.