ALACO DISPATCHES: Russia makes big play for Iranian trade

Yigal Chazan of Alaco February 1, 2017

Moscow seizes the opportunity to strengthen economic ties with Tehran as Western investors sit on the sidelines.

Poland dominates a vibrant, growing fintech industry in CEE

Nicholas Watson in Prague January 30, 2017

Fintech start-ups are flourishing across Central and Eastern Europe, from Russia to Turkey, though Poland is probably the furthest ahead in establishing itself as the most important regional hub.

Betting on high yield debt in CEE

Ben Aris in Berlin and Nicholas Watson in Prague January 30, 2017

There have been some positive developments in the CEE markets for distressed debt in the years since 2008, which have combined to open up new opportunities for intrepid investors. 

Is the Belarusian president running out of fence to sit on?

Nick Allen in Warsaw January 27, 2017

Lukashenko has long played the mid-ground between traditional ties with Moscow and likely windfalls from better relations with the EU. But economic hardship and sovereignty jitters will soon require tough choices.

Weak demand in 2016 puts Russia's 2017 recovery in question

bne IntelliNews January 26, 2017

Russia's retail trade turnover in December contracted by -5.9% year-on-year, markedly worse than consensus expectation of 3.7% y/y decline.

MOSCOW BLOG: Russia investment and political stories go their separate ways

Ben Aris in Berlin January 26, 2017

There are two Russias at the moment: The evil “Putin’s Russia” that kills journalists, bombs civilians and invades other countries. Then there is the “bull Russia”, where investors have made fat profits in the last year.

Sberbank and CEO Gref hit with $750mn corporate raiding lawsuit

Jason Corcoran in London January 25, 2017

Controlling shareholders of Pavlovskgranit say Russian state bank and its ex-finance minister head entered secret deal to illegally seize company and ensure its elimination.

Watcom Russian shopping index finishes 2016 on a rise

bne IntelliNews January 25, 2017

The Watcom shopping index ended 2016 on a strong note with footfall in Moscow’s leading shopping malls increasing to just below the 2015 levels.

Syria peace talks end with ceasefire communique but rebel support is lacking

bne IntelliNews January 24, 2017

The warring parties have agreed to participate in a further round of negotiations to be held in Geneva on February 8.

Trump's pick for US Treasury chief says 100% committed to Russia sanctions

bne IntelliNews January 23, 2017

During the Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearings, Steven Mnuchin said he is 100% committed to enforcing the sanctions against Russia.

CENTRAL ASIAN BLOG: Syrian peace talks launch Astana's 2017 PR campaign

Kanat Shaku in Almaty January 22, 2017

Kazakhstan has good relations with all participants but is likely to help sway the talks in Russia's favour.

Investors left pining for a united Cyprus

Will Conroy in Prague January 22, 2017

The discovery of offshore gas had raised hopes that Turkey might accept reunification of the island.

Ukraine seeks common ground with new US leadership

Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv January 22, 2017

Kyiv will continue to be heavily dependent on Western donor aid in the coming years, and the US’s stance towards its reform programme will remain crucial.

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