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(Bloomberg) -- Luxoft Holding Inc., a software developer with programmers in Russia and Ukraine, is benefiting from a plunge in the countries’ currencies as it lowers the company’s costs, board member Anatoly Karachinskiy said.
Luxoft, which develops software for companies including Ford Motor Co. and Deutsche Bank AG, has more than 60 percent of its programmers in Russia and Ukraine. Last year, the ruble lost 46 percent against the U.S. dollar, mostly in the fourth quarter, while the Ukrainian hryvnia dropped 48 percent.
“The currency fluctuations would surely have a positive effect on our financials,” Karachinskiy said in an interview at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He declined to elaborate further until quarterly results are published in February.
Luxoft has added workers in countries including Romania, Bulgaria and Vietnam to reduce dependence on Russia and Ukraine, which investors perceived as a risk, according to Karachinskiy. “We are a global company,” he said.
Luxoft, based in Zug, Switzerland, has been relying on relatively cheap programmers in emerging markets to make its rates more competitive. The company’s share price has more than doubled in U.S. trading since its 2013 initial public offering.
The Russian government’s idea of replacing foreign software with local products -- proposed after the U.S. and Europe imposed sanctions against the country over Vladimir Putin’s incursion in Ukraine -- would be difficult to implement, Karachinskiy said.
“Not a single software company in the world that makes a competitive product was created by a government order,” Karachinskiy said. “Programming is a creative process, and it’s hard to imagine that great painters and paintings would emerge upon a state decision.”
It wasn’t the U.S. government that created Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc., he said. “The key question is to create such an environment for technology business that would allow Microsoft or Google of Russia to emerge. This would require a long-term strategy, like the one Russia has for energy business.”
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