Russia’s state-owned banking behemoths square up after VTB Bank announced it would hire 7,000 workers under expansion plans for the newly established post bank that will encroach on its sister Sberbank’s turf.
Russia’s telecoms companies are at war as competition for customers gets intense. Easily the most sophisticated part of the Russian economy, the sector still has some catching up to do with Western Europe - but not much.
Curiously, there was no mention at all at the AgroFarm conference of the ambitious mega-project to build the biggest dairy farm in the world in China to supply Russia.
Ukraine has struggled to put in place the reforms demanded by its Western donors, but the one area where progress has been almost revolutionary is in the banking sector. Progress is good but the sector is still far from healthy.
Fintech start-ups are flourishing across Central and Eastern Europe, from Russia to Turkey, though Poland is probably the furthest ahead in establishing itself as the most important regional hub.
There have been some positive developments in the CEE markets for distressed debt in the years since 2008, which have combined to open up new opportunities for intrepid investors.
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