Eastern Europe / Features

VTB and Sberbank go head-to-head with the arrival of a Russian postal bank

Ben Aris in Berlin February 28, 2017

​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.

Fierce competition in Russian telecoms likely to lead to sector consolidation

Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow February 15, 2017

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.

Suspicious minds to keep Chinese farmers from milking Russia

Jason Corcoran in Moscow February 14, 2017

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.

Ukrainian bank sector makes remarkable progress but is still far from healthy

Ben Aris in Berlin February 10, 2017

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.

Poland dominates a vibrant, growing fintech industry in CEE

Nicholas Watson in Prague January 30, 2017

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.

Betting on high yield debt in CEE

Ben Aris in Berlin and Nicholas Watson in Prague January 30, 2017

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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