Russian state-owned banks VTB and Sberbank could use indebted airline Utair to create a new regional airline

Ben Aris in Berlin January 10, 2019

The two state-owned banks have been tasked by the government to set up a new domestic airline, to improve transport links within the country that stretches across eight time zones.

“Expensive”: Turkey raises $2bn from 10-year eurobond at 7.68% yield

Akin Nazli in Belgrade January 10, 2019

In note on ‘early bird’ move analyst says “Turks probably know the excrement is rammed in the ventilation system just waiting to be switched on”.

Ukraine’s Naftogaz filed a new $12bn claim against Russian gas monopoly Gazprom

Ben Aris in Berlin January 10, 2019

Naftogaz CEO Andrei Kobolev said the claim will provide an opportunity for Ukraine to compensate losses from bypassing transit of Russian gas.

China allows 2,000 ethnic Kazakhs to leave amid “re-education camps” backlash

bne IntelliNews January 10, 2019

Fearing loss of investment, Kazakhstan said little about the controversy. But international outrage appears to have tipped the scales.

Khamenei mocks US officials as "first-class idiots"

bne IntelliNews January 9, 2019

Remarks on Trump administration’s “irrational” approach to Iran come after US national security advisor is sent packing from Ankara over confused Syria policy.

Opponents of name deal protest in Skopje ahead of final vote

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 9, 2019

Critical parliament session postponed until January 10 as PM Zoran Zaev fails to secure the two-thirds majority needed to pass constitutional amendments changing the country's name to North Macedonia.

Bulgaria can join Eurozone no earlier than 2022, EC’s Dombrovskis says

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2019

Sofia has applied for membership in ERM2 and the European banking union and hopes to get a green light in July 2019.

Turkish lira, bonds fall as Erdogan rows with US over Kurds

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2019

Relations between Ankara and Washington under pressure again as Turkey’s president refuses to meet White House national security advisor.

Turkish statistics agency denies claims inflation figures are warped

Akin Nazli in Belgrade January 8, 2019

Columnist cites information from anonymous official on use of hard discount store prices in data basket.

Macedonia close to crucial parliament vote on name deal constitutional changes

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 8, 2019

PM Zoran Zaev says he will do “whatever is needed” to secure the two-thirds majority in the parliament for the critical constitutional changes to go ahead.

Armenia explores Iran gas supplies as officials respond to Russia price hike

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2019

Move by Russia a blow to post-revolution government in Yerevan. Putin’s new year greetings to Armenian leader’s opponent also cause anxiety.

Latvia nominates new PM candidate

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2019

MEP Krisjanis Karins nominated after political parties failed to agree on a working government coalition since the election in early October produced an atomised parliament.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko added $19.7mn to his fortune in 2018

Ben Aris in Berlin January 7, 2019

Poroshenko, who remains one of the richest men in the country, added UAH548.679mn to his fortune from dividend payments from businesses nominally held in trust by Rothschild Trust Schweiz AG last year, according to his official declaration.

Romania’s president blocks nomination of ministers and top prosecutors

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest January 7, 2019

President Klaus Iohannis has refused to endorse nominations made by PM Viorica Dancila in a reshuffle initiated in mid-November as the rift between presidency and government deepens.

Hungarian labour unions step up resistance and call for nationwide demonstrations

bne IntelliNews January 7, 2019

National protest against the so-called "slave law" was joined by opposition parties, unions and civic organisations as the longest anti-government demonstrations since Viktor Orban took power continue.

Thousands protest against President Vucic’s regime in Serbia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 6, 2019

Protests initially sparked by attack on opposition politician have broadened to express unhappiness with Vucic's rule and demand media freedom.

Turkey’s inflation falls to 20% as analysts struggle to gauge economic turmoil

Akin Nazli in Belgrade January 6, 2019

Bank lending contraction causes worse credit impulse than that of 2008/9. Economy may only manage L-shaped recovery.

Albania starts 2019 with reshuffled cabinet as Rama looks ahead to next mandate

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 5, 2019

Prime Minister Edi Rama removes long-serving ministers in response to weeks of student protests.

Russian telecom major MTS packing up its kit, exiting Turkmenistan

Ben Aris in Berlin January 2, 2019

Leading Russian telecoms company Mobile TeleSystems is dismantling its equipment and pulling out of Turkmenistan after the government cut off its services yet again in a dispute over profit sharing.

Hungarian president signs controversial law raising overtime threshold

bne IntelliNews December 21, 2018

Adoption of the law had sparked the longest running anti-government protests since the right-wing government of Viktor Orban took power in 2010.