United Capital Partners – Russian rainmakers trying to change their spots

Jason Corcoran in Moscow October 20, 2016

UCP’s newfound role as champion of activist investment in Russia is questioned given the finance firm’s ties to people in high places.

Georgian plans for Western-style waste management look iffy

Carmen Valache in Stockholm October 20, 2016

Indiscriminate adoption of recycling targets and waste processing technologies used in the EU is not the best approach for countries like Georgia.

CEE defence procurement still more ‘jaw-jaw’ than ‘war-war’

Nicholas Watson in Prague October 13, 2016

A combination of factors is creating the conditions for a boom in Central and Eastern European defence procurement. But as Poland’s sudden decision to scrap a $3.5bn helicopter deal shows, the region remains a tricky place to do business.

FINTECH: A Flare for making blockchain scalable

Nicholas Watson in Prague October 13, 2016

The most immediate challenge for blockchain is scaling the technology so it can handle increased transaction traffic in the years to come. Bitfury and Lightning Network have taken a big step towards this.

Erste seeks to re-establish trust through social banking

Tim Gosling in Vienna October 13, 2016

Erste plans to roll out "banking for the unbankable" across CEE, seeing its social banking drive as an investment in a future generation of successful entrepreneurs.

Belarusian reforms: a new liberal paradigm or business as usual?

Ben Aris in Berlin October 10, 2016

Belarus has launched a mini-revolution that could be a “paradigm shift” in the way the country is run, analysts at Berlin Economics believe. But can this new five-year programme actually be implemented?

INTERVIEW: Ukraine’s gas traders open taps on a brighter future

bne IntelliNews October 10, 2016

Ukraine has undergone a quiet revolution. In the past two years an open gas market was created and the first independent traders are already buying and importing large amounts of gas from Europe to feed the country’s thirst for energy.

INTERVIEW: CEO says Romania capital market close to gaining emerging market status

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest October 7, 2016

After four years of intensive effort by the Bucharest Stock Exchange, it has been put on FTSE Russell’s emerging markets watchlist, a development that opens up “historic perspectives” for Romania, the CEO says.

LONG READ: The difficult dialogue of civilisations

Ben Aris in Rhodes October 6, 2016

“Europe is not in crisis. It is a crisis!” thundered former Czech president Vaclav Klaus. Is Central Europe undermining EU solidarity? EU leaders, past and present, met at the Rhodes Forum 2016 to discuss the issues, but came up with few answers.

FINTECH: Hungary’s Wyze.me aims to become Europe’s Mint.com

Blanka Zoldi in Budapest October 5, 2016

Gyorgy Mudri only launched the beta version of his personal finance management app Wyze.me late last year, but he is already aiming for it to become “the European Mint.com and even better”.

Southeast Europe seeks to build on strong tourist season

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest October 3, 2016

Can governments and private sector investors in countries from Croatia to Romania build upon this year’s rise in tourist numbers and continue to attract larger numbers of holidaymakers in future?

FINTECH: A blockchain reaction in society

Nicholas Watson in Prague September 29, 2016

There’s little doubt that blockchain, the underlying technology that powers cryptocurrencies, has enormous potential for many parts of the economy that is only now being realised.

INTERVIEW: Russian tech billionaire Kaspersky caught in cyber Cold War crossfire

Jason Corcoran in Dublin September 29, 2016

Eugene Kaspersky owes some credit for his computer wizardry to the Soviet KGB. But he tells bne IntelliNews that today he is waging a non-partisan fight against cybercrime, caught between the two sides in a virtual East-West conflict.

Will Republika Srpska’s national day referendum herald a vote on independence from Bosnia?

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest September 28, 2016

By going ahead with a referendum on the national day, the president of Republika Srpska, the Serb half of the divided Bosnia & Hercegovina nation, was testing the response of the central authorities and the international community.

Netherlands and Ukraine’s EU free trade and association deal – what to expect next?

Iana Dreyer in Brussels September 27, 2016

Is this the end of the deal? Not quite: negotiations with the EU and Ukraine have only recently begun and some areas have already been applied provisionally after the deal was ratified by the EU institutions.

Rimac and his Croatian supercars: together in electric dreams

Jelena Prtoric in Zagreb September 23, 2016

Rimac Automobili grew out of the 28-year-old entrepreneur’s hobby of building and racing electric cars, and today his company provides technological solutions and components for high-end carmakers as well as producing its own supercars.

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