Zarif to Trump: Iran oil ban will fail, “world is sick & tired of US unilateralism”

bne IntelliNews August 8, 2018

Emboldened by China’s refusal to stop buying his country's crude, Iranian foreign minister says the world won’t follow “impulsive tweeted diktats”.

Hydropower rebounds in the Western Balkans

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest August 8, 2018

After a severe drought caused hydropower generation to slump in the Western Balkans last year, the latest data show a sharp rebound in hydroelectricity production in the first half of 2018.

Capital: Bank fragilities could turn a Turkish recession into “full-blown crisis”

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 8, 2018

Turkey’s private sector credit-to-GDP ratio rose 45pp in 15 years to above 60%.

Asian investors replace western players in Russia's FDI

Ben Aris in Berlin August 8, 2018

Foreign investors put up capital for 238 projects in 2017 — a record number for Russia according to EY. While a number of investments from western countries are on hold, their absence is more than made up for by new investors from Asia.

Czech CEZ reportedly sues Bulgaria over banned asset sale

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia August 7, 2018

In July, the CPC ruled that the highly controversial sale of CEZ's assets to local firm Inercom could not be completed as it would give the buyer excessive power on the photovoltaic electricity market.

Europe: Ignore Trump’s call not to do business with Iran

Will Conroy in Prague August 7, 2018

As US president barks his latest demands on Twitter, Brussels encourages waves of small and medium sized businesses to help prop up the Iranian economy.

Russian Audit Chamber to get stronger anti-corruption mandate

Vadim Dumesh in Paris August 7, 2018

Russia's Audit Chamber, which recently got a new boss, heavyweight policymaker Alexei Kudrin, is demanding a broader mandate to fight corruption, position itself as the know-how centre and the go-to anti-corruption institution.

Turkey perilously stranded on edge of out and out currency-and-debt crisis

bne IntelliNews August 7, 2018

As markets search for an escape route, president and finance minister are accused of being MIA. Corporate balance sheets, meanwhile, slipped closer to the abyss.

Hungarian opposition blasts government for hefty state funding to BMW

bne IntelliNews August 7, 2018

Officials haven't disclosed how much is being extended to BMW but there is speculation it could be as high as €90mn — which opposition leaders say would be better spent on Hungarian businesses.

Rightwing Macedonian parties to boycott name deal referendum

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje August 7, 2018

Pro-Russian United Macedonia party leads the “Macedonia Boycotts” campaign, raising further suspicions of a Russian campaign to derail the referendum that is a critical step on Macedonia's path to EU and Nato.

Turkish lira crashes to new record low of 5.42 against the dollar

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 6, 2018

Neverending stream of bad news ends with final hammer blow from Trump as he presses button on sanctions against Turkey’s neighbour Iran.

Trump triggers Iran sanctions, EU unveils updated ‘blocking statute’

bne IntelliNews August 6, 2018

US plan to strangle Iranian economy faces varying degrees of resistance from Europe, China, Turkey and India, among others.

Ukraine selects privatisation advisers for first six companies to go on the block this year

Ben Aris in Berlin August 6, 2018

Ukraine’s privatisation programme has been gathering some momentum but it has struggled to sell the star companies that could bring in billions of dollars.

Russia's Rosneft launches first ever share buyback programme as part of investment makeover

bne IntelliNews August 6, 2018

Russia's largest oil company state-controlled Rosneft has launched the company’s first ever share buyback programme worth $2bn that will last until December 2020 acquiring a maximum of 340mn or 3.2% of company's share capital and a third of freefloat

China refuses US request to stop buying Iranian oil, big blow dealt to sanctions strategy

bne IntelliNews August 5, 2018

Beijing’s decision a big breakthrough for Tehran—the Chinese buy third of Iran’s crude.

Fears of unrest in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo after Pristina misses critical deadline

bne IntelliNews August 5, 2018

August 4 was the deadline for the Kosovan authorities to establish the Community of Serb Municipalities, an important step in the EU-mediated normalisation process between Belgrade and Pristina.

Belarus' growth of 4.5% almost twice expected rate in first half of 2018

bne IntelliNews August 3, 2018

Rate comes in at almost twice the 2.8% forecast at the start of the year.

Better-than-expected July inflation in Turkey puts brake on descent of lira

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 3, 2018

Day nevertheless sees currency hit new all-time low prior to finance minister giving interview indicating he wants to 'have his Turkish delight and eat it too'.

US to impose “crushing” set of sanctions on Russia’s debt and oil

Ben Aris in Berlin August 3, 2018

A proposed "crushing" bipartisan bill introduced by the US Senate on August 2 will not be debated until the autumn and many of the harsh terms could be considerably watered down, Luis Saenz, the co-head of equities at BCS Global Markets said

CNB hikes rates by 0.25 pp in first back-to-back increase in 11 years

Jaroslav Hroch in Prague August 3, 2018

Rate increase to 1.25% was expected due to strong wage growth, a weaker koruna than anticipated, and inflation exceeding the CNB target of 2%.