Features

Installation shows scale of Moldova's $1bn bank fraud

Carmen Simion in Bucharest February 23, 2017

Chisinau-based artist Stefan Esanu gives concrete form to the 10% of GDP siphoned off from three Moldovan banks.

Foreign investors eye Iran's grocery sector

bne IntelliNews February 15, 2017

Competition is already fierce among Iranian-owned hard discounters.

Armenia's banks look to follow in Georgia's footsteps

Carmen Valache in Lund February 15, 2017

Sector consolidates in 'M&A frenzy' sparked by regulatory changes.

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.

INTERVIEW: IMF sees Kazakhstan benefitting from a newly opened-up Uzbekistan

Naubet Bisenov in Almaty February 14, 2017

Kazakhstan should not count on traditional economic growth drivers to rescue its struggling oil-based economy, but must carry out structural reforms to compete with regional rival Uzbekistan.

Drug maker Richter sets innovative example for Hungary’s economy

Blanka Zoldi in Brussels February 10, 2017

Richter illustrates the potential of Hungary’s first-rate pharmaceutical sector, which many in the industry, including Richter’s CEO, expect to become the key driver of the Hungarian economy.

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.

COMMENT: EU-Turkey customs union needs updating but obstacles lie ahead

Iana Dreyer of Borderlex February 7, 2017

Renegotiating the customs union, though far less controversial than the process that would end with Turkey actually joining the EU, is still likely to entail difficult decisions for both sides that could derail any agreement.

A guide to the Romanian protests

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest February 6, 2017

As the anti-corruption protests in Romania continue to grow, bne IntelliNews provides a guide to the decree at the heart of the controversy, the main players and their agendas.

Romania's government under pressure as protests force cancellation of controversial decree

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 5, 2017

Romania is experiencing its own version of Ukraine’s Maidan popular revolution. Mass protests have gone from calling for the cancellation of a decriminalisation decree to demands for the government to resign.

Children join parents in Bucharest anti-corruption protest

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest February 5, 2017

Demonstrations to continue despite Prime Minister Grindeanu's backtracking on controversial ordinance.

Kazakh sovereign bond fails to spark hoped-for corporate issuance

Naubet Bisenov in Almaty January 31, 2017

While the sovereign issue did help Kazakh corporate bonds already in circulation in London and elsewhere, its impact on new corporate bond issuance was limited due to the poor domestic and global economic climate.

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. 

Is the Belarusian president running out of fence to sit on?

Nick Allen in Warsaw January 27, 2017

Lukashenko has long played the mid-ground between traditional ties with Moscow and likely windfalls from better relations with the EU. But economic hardship and sovereignty jitters will soon require tough choices.

Rush into Iran by big US investors reduces Trump’s room for manoeuvre

bne IntelliNews January 27, 2017

Investors have rushed into the post-sanctions-era Islamic Republic. Can Donald Trump still feasibly slam the door?

Serbia-Kosovo normalisation process risks derailment as nationalist posturing rises

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest January 26, 2017

As the broad brushstrokes of the landmark deal to normalise relations between Serbia and Kosovo give way to the nitty-gritty of reaching consensus on specific issues and implementing those deals, previously overlooked flaws are being revealed.

Trump reinvigorates Visegrad’s EU revolutionaries

Tim Gosling in Prague January 26, 2017

Donald Trump’s rise to power and confrontational first days in the White House has reinvigorated the calls for “revolution” from the populist governments in Poland and Hungary.

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