LONG READ: Playing Real Risk - Russia vs US

Ben Aris in Berlin April 18, 2019

I play a game of Risk with my son using the real distribution of great power military bases around the world.

Russia's Ministry of Finance takes "manual control" over the most indebted regions

Ben Aris in Berlin April 16, 2019

With the Russian public finances in rude health the government is moving to take tighter control of regional debt, the build-up of which nearly caused a crisis only two years ago.

Georgia’s leading commercial bank TBC moves into Uzbekistan

Ben Aris in Berlin April 16, 2019

The biggest bank in Georgia TBC is to arrive in Uzbekistan by buying local payment service Payme. It is acquiring a 51% stake for $5.5mn.

Ukraine’s bond market revolution about to begin, just as debt repayments are about to soar

Ben Aris in Berlin April 11, 2019

A revolution in the Ukrainian bond market is about to take place this month that should provide ample financing, raised on the domestic, not international, capital market to deal with a debt mountain Ukraine is facing this year.

Russian medical services show healthy growth

Ben Aris in Berlin April 10, 2019

Private medical services are flourishing in Russia as the emerging middle class are willing to pay for better service, shorter waiting times and peace of mind in providing the best possible care for younger family members.

Western Balkans: Too small to be the next big thing?

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 5, 2019

Central Europe has been enjoying a boom for the last few years driven by investment into export-oriented sectors but as the boom peaks investors are looking south for new locations to set up production.

Russia’s consumers still glum but businesses becoming optimistic for 2019

Ben Aris in Berlin April 4, 2019

So what was the mood among Russian consumers in the first quarter? Unfortunately, only a mere percentage point was taken off their misery. But business folk were feeling that much chirpier.

VOX: The march of Russia’s medical lab services business

Ben Aris in Berlin April 4, 2019

Russia has many flourishing sectors like oil, retail and agriculture, but the expansion of the middle class has given rise to increasingly sophisticated services aimed at the population. Private medical services are growing at 15% a year or more.

Browder says Russia investors are risking their lives and clients’ money

Jason Corcoran in Dublin April 3, 2019

Bill Browder, the founder of Hermitage Capital, warns foreign investors still active in Russia that they are risking their own lives as well as their clients’ money in an interview with bne IntelliNews.

End of an era of USSR dictators (or not?)

Nizom Khodjayev in Astana March 22, 2019

Kazakhstan’s ruler of 30 years Nursultan Nazarbayev has gone. Only he’s not gone. And ordinary Kazakhs who’ve lived through three “Soviet-groomed” decades don’t hold out much hope a handpicked successor will change much about their lives.

Georgia sets out to wow China with Black Sea trade nexus dream

Emil Avdaliani in Tbilisi March 20, 2019

Progress in delivering Anaklia Deep Sea Port and other big investments could make small nation indispensable to Belt and Road infrastructure plans.

Law enforcement agencies take sides as election tensions rise in Ukraine

Graham Stack in Berlin March 20, 2019

One of the key players in Ukraine's presidential election is a businessman and politician who is not himself running for office: Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who supervises the national police, and sympathises with the opposition.

Nazarbayev steps down after three decades as president

Nizom Khodjayev in Astana March 19, 2019

Matters have been arranged, however, to ensure the septuagenarian remains the power behind the Kazakh throne.

Russia's OFZ bond market is under the sword of sanctions

Peter Simon in New York, Carlos Singer in New York March 19, 2019

Heavily overweight in the ruble-denominated state treasury bonds, traders dumped RUB500bn worth of these so-called OFZ last year afraid the US government was going to ban trading and even ownership of the government's workhorse bond