Iranian passenger plane crashes in Isfahan province killing all 66 on board

bne IntelliNews February 18, 2018

Aseman Airlines' 20-year-old twin-propeller ATR plane had been grounded on several previous occasions and was forced to make an emergency landing in January, as Iranian airlines struggle to secure new planes and spare parts from abroad.

Thousands join far-right march in Bulgarian capital

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 18, 2018

March to commemorate pro-Nazi WW2 general was officially condemned by the authorities but one organiser claimed it had top level political support.

VTB-Magnit deal is "spit in the face of all investors", says Prosperity Capital Management

Ben Aris in Berlin February 16, 2018

Leading Russia-dedicated fund says the state-owned bank has deliberately bought just under the 30% threshold in the retailer that would have triggered a mandatory offer to minority shareholders.

Tillerson’s Turkey visit raises hopes of a reset in relations

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 16, 2018

Turkey and the US agreed to normalise bilateral relations, strained by the Turkish campaign against the US-armed YPG Kurdish militia in Syria.

Magnit’s Galitsky calls it a day and sells 29% stake to VTB

Ben Aris in Berlin February 16, 2018

Sergei Galitsky, founder of Russian regional supermarket chain Magnit, has sold most of his shares to state-owned banking powerhouse VTB for $2.4bn.

Agrokor seeks more time to reach deal with creditors

bne IntelliNews February 16, 2018

Stricken Croatian food and retail giant wants three-month extension as it seeks to restructure around €5.5bn worth of debt.

Progress on normalising situation in Transnistria gains momentum

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 16, 2018

The Moldovan authorities stepped up the economic pressure on the Russian-backed separatist republic last year, encouraging the authorities in Tiraspol to compromise.

Four out of eight candidates in Russia’s presidential elections lied about their income

bne IntelliNews February 15, 2018

Four out of eight candidates registered in Russia’s presidential elections next month are believed to have misreported their income to election officials

Yerevan city council descends into chaos as councillors brawl over sewage leak

bne IntelliNews February 14, 2018

Fight broke out when members of the opposition Yekir Tsirani party tried to hand containers of sewage to Yerevan mayor Taron Markarian.

Romania's ruling coalition amplifies rhetoric against anti-corruption prosecutors

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 14, 2018

Political leaders are expected to use the growing scandal at the DNA's regional Ploiesti office to attempt to force out DNA chief Laura Kovesi.

US dollar nearly hits IRR50,000 mark for first time in history

bne IntelliNews February 14, 2018

The continuing decline of the rial comes as several top banking officials including the Central Bank of Iran governor Valiollah Seif said that hawkers should stop hoarding foreign cash and looking to make quick gains.

Aegean boat crash sparks diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Greece

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 13, 2018

War of words erupts after Turkish coast patrol vessel rammed a Greek coastguard boat close to islands claimed by both countries, amid rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Bulgaria’s Deputy PM admits his hard right United Patriots are "unstable"

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 13, 2018

Growing rifts among the nationalist United Patriots put their future as the junior coalition partner of Boyko Borissov's Gerb at risk but the prime minister has other options to keep his government in office.

Top Croatian officials welcome Serbia’s president amid protests

bne IntelliNews February 13, 2018

Past conflicts loom large as Croatia's Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and Serbia's Aleksandar Vucic meet in Zagreb.

Kazakhstan to spend $60mn annually for three years on Astana International Financial Centre

bne IntelliNews February 13, 2018

The AIFC is a financial services hub to be run as a free economic zone modelled on Dubai’s International Financial Centre.

Iran will disconnect smuggled mobile phones by March 21

bne IntelliNews February 13, 2018

Official says there are no faults in the free registry scheme and disconnection will go ahead as planned.

Iran does not need OFAC license to buy Sukhoi Superjet, official says

bne IntelliNews February 13, 2018

Iran may buy up 100 of the Russian airliners once US veto on exports is lifted.

EU warns Turkey to avoid threats against Cyprus in Eastern Mediterranean

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 12, 2018

European Council President Donald Tusk issues warning after Nicosia accused the Turkish military of obstructing Italian energy company Eni's gas exploration ship in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Sberbank shrugs off Brexit fears by doubling capital of its London business

Jason Corcoran in Moscow February 12, 2018

Russia's largest bank Sberbank's UK operations has faced a litany of problems from sanctions to sexual harassment lawsuits, but it is sticking to its guns and injected £40mn to boost the units capitalisation in January, bne IntelliNews can reveal.

Russian Novaport plans IPO after consolidating 20 airport assets

bne IntelliNews February 12, 2018

Russia’s largest airport holding Novaport plans an IPO or to attract a strategic investor after consolidating 20 airport assets, the co-owner of the holding Roman Trotsenko said