Eastern Europe / Features

LONG READ: The Growers - a handful of countries in New Europe are coping with the coronacrisis and are still expanding

bne IntelliNews May 29, 2020

Gold-exporting Uzbekistan has the emerging Europe region's best shot at achieving positive GDP growth this year. Other economies managed to expand in Q1 but will be pushed into full-year contractions.

Foreign share of Ukraine's domestic bonds falling, demand for fresh debt spluttering

Ben Aris in Berlin May 28, 2020

Foreign investors piled into Ukraine’s local debt market since it was hooked up to Clearstream’s international payment and settlement system last March, investing $5bn, but now they are selling

Russia’s VTB trapped in a London lockdown until 2024

Jason Corcoran in Dublin May 28, 2020

Russians state-owned banking giant VTB is trapped in an expensive lease for its European headquarters in London for another four years even as the Kremlin-controlled lender builds up a new investment base in Frankfurt, bne IntelliNews can reveal.

Russian OFZs are an Emerging Markets investor's safe haven

Ben Aris in Berlin May 22, 2020

Russia has emerged as a safe haven for investors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has rocked capital markets around the world, according to a paper from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

Moscow wounded by the coronavirus epidemic, but best prepared to weather the storm

Ben Aris in Berlin May 21, 2020

More than half of all Russia’s 300,000-plus registered cases of coronavirus infections are in Moscow, making it the epicentre of the Russian epidemic. But its size and wealth makes it the best able to cope with the crisis.

Business rallies to help in fight against coronavirus across Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Ben Aris in Berlin May 20, 2020

Business leaders across the Former Soviet Union are using some of the riches they have amassed in the last three decades to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

CONFERENCE CALL: 5G to turbocharge post-COVID recovery

Ivana Jovanovic in Stuttgart May 18, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been a fertile breeding ground for 5G conspiracy theories, and legitimate concerns about security still need to be addressed, but rolling out 5G mobile networks in Europe could give economies a much-needed boost.

INTERVIEW: Prosperity Capital CEO forecasts Russian oil majors will survive as rivals go bust

Jason Corcoran in Dublin May 15, 2020

Mattias Westman, chief executive of Prosperity Capital Management, predicts Russian oil will survive an impending bloodbath which may eliminate multinationals such as BP and Exxon Mobil.

Retail sales under lockdown across Central and Eastern Europe are sinking

bne IntelliNews May 12, 2020

A worldwide lockdown has created havoc for retailers as their customers are forced to stay at home. There has been a little respite as sales in March surged due to panic buying but that has given way to a lockdown that keeps stores closed

LONG READ: Russia’s amazing levitating ruble

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Since March the cost of oil has halved in value but the Russian ruble has only lost 19% in the same time. What is holding the value of the ruble up?

LONG READ: Alisher Usmanov, the path of a game-changer

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov made ground-breaking investments from setting up a shopping bag factory in Soviet Russia to buying a stake in Facebook well ahead of its IPO. Now he is retreating from business to concentrate on philanthropy

After a year in office Zelenskiy is still struggling to end the Donbas conflict

Lindsay Mackenzie in Glasgow May 8, 2020

When Russia orchestrated a separatist takeover of the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2014, few would have predicted five years later a former television star with no traditional political experience would be elected on a promise to end the conflict.

Rencap marks Russia up to Buy

Ben Aris in Berlin May 5, 2020

Russia's equity markets have crashed after oil prices fell by more than 50%. This is the fifth time that has happened and in every previous case the equity market has rallied strongly over the next six months.

TELEBRIEF: Russian retail in the time of corona

Ben Aris in Berlin May 5, 2020

The coronavirus is going to do serious economic damage to Russia’s economy and with most of the population locked down for at least a month, and maybe more, the retail sector is in the front line.