Eastern Europe / News

Alisher Usmanov and USM shareholders to donate RUB2bn to fight coronavirus

Ben Aris in Berlin April 6, 2020

Russian tycoon and the other shareholders of his holding company USM have donated RUB2bn ($26mn) to help in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic in Russia, the company said in a press release on April 6.

Russia, Saudi Arabia agree to slash oil production, Trump claims

bne IntelliNews April 2, 2020

Donald Trump said on April 2 that Russia and Saudi Arabia would be cutting their output, instead of continuing with a supply war that could result in hundreds of oil companies going out of business. The Kremlin denied his claim.

Watcom shopping index collapses as Moscow put on lockdown

Ben Aris in Berlin April 2, 2020

The Watcom shopping index, which measures foot traffic in Moscow’s largest malls in real time, collapsed at the start of this week, falling by 70.9% year on year after Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin put the Russian capital on strict lockdown.

Belarus restricts coronavirus data as second death from COVID-19 is confirmed

bne IntelliNews April 1, 2020

Belarus’ authoritarian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has dismissed the pandemic as a “psychosis” and says the biggest challenge for the nation at the moment is the economic meltdown.

EBRD reveals CEE/Eurasia economies’ vulnerability to external shocks amid coronavirus crisis

bne IntelIiNews April 1, 2020

Development bank looks at the resilience of states in the region to falling commodity prices, value chain disruption, declines in tourism and domestic disruption.

The calm before the storm: Russia’s March PMI manufacturing index shows only a mild decline

bne IntelliNews April 1, 2020

It is still too early for the full impact of the double whammy of the oil prices crash and pandemic related stop shock, but Russia’s IHS Markit Russia PMI was already slowing in March before the storm broke

Moscow locked down as coronavirus infections in Russia accelerate

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2020

Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin ordered a lockdown of the Russian capital in the evening of March 29 that is effective from Monday morning.

IIF forecasts a contraction of -1.4% in CEE, -1.3% in Russia, but Turkish growth remains in the black in 2020

Ben Aris in Berlin March 26, 2020

The Institute of International Finance (IIF) released updated forecasts for economic growth this year for the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries that show a sharp slowdown in 2020 and all except Turkey will return negative results.

Is Russia’s healthcare system up to dealing with the coronavirus?

Ben Aris in Berlin March 26, 2020

Experts worry that Russia is ill-prepared to deal with a spike in infections thanks to the neglect of health system reform.

Is the pace of outflows from EMs starting to slow?

bne IntelliNews March 26, 2020

Equity and bond markets have been rocked by record volumes of outflows since the end of February in one of the biggest sell offs ever, but the pace of selling seems to be slowing in the last few days, said the Institute of International Finance (IIF)

Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal causes a short flurry with gaffe confusing restructuring debt for refinancing

Ben Aris in Berlin March 24, 2020

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal caused a short flurry when he inadvertently said Ukraine would “restructure” its external debt when he meant to say “refinance” during a TV interview on March 23.

Final version of Ukraine’s banking law agreed with IMF

Ben Aris in Berlin March 24, 2020

A final version of Ukraine’s banking law that prevents the state returning a nationalised bank to its former owner has been agreed with the IMF and should be presented to the Rada in the coming days.

Fitch cuts oil price outlook for 2020 from 62.5/bbl to $41/bbl on global recession fears

Ben Aris in Berlin March 24, 2020

Fitch Ratings has cut its short and medium-term oil and natural gas price assumptions in expectation of very large market oversupply in 2020.

Belarus considering selective default on its external state debt

bne IntelliNews March 24, 2020

Belarus is considering restructuring some part of its external state debt and in effect defaulting on debt coming due this year, First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Dmitry Krutoi said.

IMF in talks to increase its assistance to Ukraine to $9.5bn

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2020

The International Monetary Fund may increase its assistance to Ukraine to a total of $9.5bn by drawing on a $50bn emergency fund it established to help low-income countries cope with the stop shock of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Russian assets sees a all-time record $1.4bn of outflows in a week

bne IntelliNews March 20, 2020

Russian assets saw an all-time record $1.4bn outflows from investors from its combined equity and bond securities in the week ending March 18 compared with an outflow of $590mn the week before.

Russia reports first coronavirus death

bne IntelliNews March 19, 2020

Russia suffered its first coronavirus death on March 19 when a 79-year-old woman passed away. Officially there are only 199 cases in Russia.

Russia’s government ramps up preparations to fight economic fall-out of coronavirus

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

Russia’s government is starting to ramp up its preparations to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and this week will put a comprehensive plan in place to deal with the economic impact of the associated slowdown.

Zelenskiy holds oligarch meeting to rally business in coronavirus fight

Ben Aris in Berlin March 17, 2020

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met with the top 15 Ukrainian oligarchs on the evening of March 16 to call on them to help in the country’s fight against the ballooning coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) ties up with Japan to mass-produce state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing kit

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

The Russian Fund for Direct Investment (RDIF) has tied up with Japanese scientists to create a state-of-the-art portable kit that can test for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will go into mass production in April.