Features

INTERVIEW: Moldova's populist pro-Russian 'hand grenade'

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest March 24, 2017

Renato Usatii, Partidul Nostru leader, insists he will continue fighting against Vlad Plahotnuic's capture of the state despite fleeing the country.

English farmer ploughs a deep furrow in Russia’s biggest irrigation project

Jason Corcoran in Moscow March 22, 2017

In his early UK farming days, Robert Covell had no inkling he'd one day follow in the tracks of Stalin's command economy to bring quality grain and vegetables to Russian consumers.

EU’s eastern half slow to join wind and solar revolution

Carmen Valache in Lund March 22, 2017

Shifting regulatory landscapes and opposition from powerful vested interests hold back renewable energy investments in CEE.

FINTECH: Global Blockchain Business Council sets up branch office in Washington D.C.

Nicholas Watson in Prague March 21, 2017

Less than two months after its founding by The Bitfury Group, the Global Blockchain Business Council, the first global body set up to educate businesses on the latest innovations in blockchain technology, is establishing a chapter in Washington.

Investors shy away from market darling Magnit as Russia’s retail sector competition toughens

Fabrice Deprez in Moscow March 17, 2017

Shares in Magnit, the star of Russia’s retail sector for many years and one of the most profitable retailers in the world, stood still in 2016 while its rival's doubled in value.

The new wave of Romanian IT start-ups

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest March 15, 2017

Serial entrepreneurs who have achieved success in software are now launching innovative hardware products.

Dräxlmaier expands across Southeast Europe

Clare Nuttall in Codlea March 15, 2017

Dräxlmaier is one of the largest of a number of international auto-components manufacturers attracted to Romania by the low costs and skilled workforce.

CEE REAL ESTATE SURVEY: Peak here, past nadir there

Ben Aris in Berlin March 14, 2017

The real estate sector across the region has benefited from two and a half decades of transition; but there is plenty of growth potential left thanks to their still incomplete transition to Western European levels.

South African real estate investors ask: howzit in CEE?

Nicholas Watson in Prague March 14, 2017

South African money started flowing into CEE real estate more than five years ago and now rivals that coming from North America and the Asia-Pacific.

LONG READ: Russia’s great daylight bank robbery

Ben Aris in Berlin March 13, 2017

Until recently the bank robbers enjoyed impunity, with many living openly in luxury in London, but now the banking clean-up is in the end game.

Russian corporate governance comes in from the "Caveman era"

Jason Corcoran in Moscow March 10, 2017

Standards of governance are steadily improving from the jungle fights of the 1990s, but the current economic crisis still saw minority shareholders get squeezed in takeovers by Kremlin-controlled giants like Rosneft.

Russian companies get active issuing bonds and taking loans in 2017

Vladmir Kozlov in Moscow March 10, 2017

After three years of recession, 2017 has seen a revival of Russian assets, with issuers in February raising almost $2.5bn through Eurobonds, their high rates attracting international investors.

No respite for Azerbaijani banks

bne IntelliNews March 3, 2017

One quarter of the country's banks lost their licences last year, in a lottery that depends on having the right political connections.

LONG READ: Yanukovych-era corruption schemes implicate Ukraine’s current elites

Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv March 2, 2017

Taras Chornovil, a former close associate of Ukraine’s fugitive ex-president Viktor Yanukovych, spills the beans about the vast sums paid to MPs and others, allegedly including former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

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.

SEE banking markets are ripe for consolidation

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest February 27, 2017

Locally-owned lenders and private equity groups take advantage of the withdrawal of Greek and other West European banks.

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