Eastern Europe / Features

ESG is a must have in Russia, but adds no alpha

Ben Aris in Berlin November 12, 2019

If a Russian company doesn't pay attention to its environmental, social and governance score it will lose investors, but if it does switch to a more sustainable model it won’t earn any real reward.

Russia's consumer credit driven retail running out of steam, while Ukraine has a boom ahead

Ben Aris in Berlin November 10, 2019

The consumer debt profiles of Russia and Ukraine are very different. Russia’s household debt rose to 15.5% of GDP as of the end of 2018 and is just shy of its all time high of 15.6% set in 2014. Ukraine’s household debt has been falling steadily.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: Ground zero and the fall of the wall in Berlin

Ben Aris in Berlin November 9, 2019

I’d just arrived in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down. It was hard to appreciate the enormity of the change that had just happened at the time but the reunification of the two Germanys changed everything.

CEE monthly bond wrap: Bond issues in Eastern Europe pick up strongly in October, but activity subdued in Central Europe

Ben Aris in Berlin November 8, 2019

Bond issuers from Eastern Europe were active in October with 18 bonds issued worth a total of $4.5bn of which two-thirds of the value and 14 out of the 18 were Russian bonds, according to data provided by CBonds.

Ukraine’s banking sector made good profits in September, but NPLs remain a problem

Ben Aris in Berlin November 4, 2019

Ukraine’s banking sector had a profitable September, earning UAH4bn in the month to bring the cumulative earnings for 2019 to UAH48.4bn as of September.

This stadium is not a cemetery: rebuilding Donetsk against the odds

Robert O'Connor in Donetsk November 1, 2019

Donetsk used to be famous for two things: coal and football. Now it’s the capital of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, at the heart of Ukraine’s ongoing civil war. But after years of fighting its people just want to return to normal life.

Vostok Oil is the new kid on Russia’s energy block

Ben Aris in Berlin October 31, 2019

Vostok Oil is a joint venture set up to explore and exploit the oil resources of the Arctic, and the Kremlin has started to throw significant resources at the company as Russia’s existing oil fields reach peak production.

Ukraine’s investment summit on the front line of a war

Fabrice Deprez in Mariupol October 30, 2019

Ukraine’s new government held an investment summit in Mariupol on October 29, barely 20km from the frontline in the undeclared war with Russia. International investors and Ukraine’s donors flocked to the Black Sea port town.

VOX: VEB creating a new quality of life in Russia

Ben Aris in Rhodes October 29, 2019

Russia is growing below potential, but the new national projects are designed to change that. While the programme is off to a slow start, Andrey Klepach, chief economist of Vnesheconombank, says quality of life will be transformed.

Russian Baring Vostok executives could face years in detention

Ben Aris in Berlin October 25, 2019

Baring Vostok fund managers Michael Calvey and Philippe Delpal have been released to house arrest in a fraud trial, but their three Russian colleagues could spend years in pre-trial detention if they are not released at upcoming hearings.

Enel Russia sells its biggest coal-burning power station as it goes green

Ben Aris in Berlin October 24, 2019

Russia’s biggest foreign-owned utilities company has finally sold its Reftinskaya power station for an undisclosed amount as part of its efforts to “go green” as well as become more profitable.

Russia accounts for 97% of the trade in the EEU

Sam Bhutia of Eurasianet October 23, 2019

Russia dominates the trade within the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU). In 2018 trade with Russia accounted for 96.9% of all trade within the Eurasian Union; trade among the four smaller countries accounted for the remaining 3.1%.

30 years after fall of Berlin Wall Pew poll finds progress but a values fault line lies across Europe

Ben Aris in Berlin October 22, 2019

With the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall due in November the Pew Research Center has released a report looking at how attitudes to democracy, liberal values and market economies have developed in the last 30 years.

Ukraine expects to more than double its renewable capacity in 2019

Ben Aris in Berlin October 22, 2019

Ukraine has already been investing heavily in the renewable sector, and the goal of the government's renewable energy strategy is to reach 25% renewables by 2023.

Samolet residential real estate business is flying

Ben Aris in Berlin October 15, 2019

Russia’s residential real estate market is recovering as the economy emerges from several years of crisis. Incomes have been stagnant for six years, but as interest rates fall housing is becoming more affordable.

CONFERENCE CALL: Decline of the West and rise of the rest

Ben Aris in Rhodes October 14, 2019

It was 30 years ago that the Berlin Wall came down, ushering in hopes of a united, peaceful and prosperous world. Today the world is unpredictable and moving towards a new division between East and West. How did we get here?