Features

BRICKS & MORTAR: Russian real estate market getting back on its feet

Ben Aris in Moscow May 15, 2019

Russia’s real estate market is back in play after investment rose by 30% y/y in the first quarter of this year, reports JLL – the best result in the last three years.

VOX: Moldova's banking sector turns the corner

Ben Aris in Budapest May 15, 2019

Following the shock of the $1bn stolen from the banking sector in 2014 the government has got its act together and is transforming the business, with some help from the EBRD.

Political fighting intensifies in Poland as film documenting Catholic clergy's abuse of kids goes viral to millions

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 15, 2019

The film’s skyrocketing popularity has forced political leaders take positions on the issue as the campaign for the European Parliament elections heats up.

War, huh… What is it good for?

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2019

Trump and Iran’s Khamenei were on May 14 among many taking on the question of whether a military showdown between the US and the Islamic Republic is on the cards.

Poland overtakes Russia to become Ukraine’s biggest trade partner in February

Ben Aris in Berlin May 12, 2019

Russia has long been Ukraine’s main trade partner, but relations have crumbled since the annexation of the Crimea in 2014 and trade has fallen thanks to numerous embargoes as the two countries are fighting an undeclared war.

Kazakhstan’s banking sector under pressure, bracing for more M&A or defaults

Gavin Bowring in Almaty May 9, 2019

Fears of a fresh banking crisis are mounting in Kazakhstan thanks to a backdrop of rising political risk in the lead-up to snap presidential elections in June and debt. More mergers and liquidations are in store.

Ukraine’s banks are back in profit, provisions made bad debt non-toxic

Ben Aris in Berlin May 9, 2019

Ukraine’s banking sector has returned to profit, and while non-performing loans remain extremely high, those profits have allowed the banks to make provisions for their bad debt, which is no longer regarded as “toxic” by analysts.

Golden keys to the EU’s back door

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 9, 2019

While EU members are taking steps to end or phase out investment for citizenship programmes, the opposite is happening in some potential future members.

ISTANBUL BLOG: Turkey mired in ‘death of democracy’ outrage—but global lenders are unfazed

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 9, 2019

Erdogan party hacks nevertheless ask why markets give this particular authoritarian regime such a hard time. Answer may be its lack of technocrats with freedom to run macro policy. Lickspittles get you nowhere.

Russia's nuclear power exports are booming

Ben Aris in Berlin May 8, 2019

State-owned Rosatom operates 35 nuclear power stations in Russia, and is actively exporting its nuclear technology to countries around the world.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Democracy? That died long ago. Economic recovery? Don’t bet the farm on it

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 7, 2019

Annulling of Istanbul election result that put a chink in Erdogan’s armour knocks an already ensnared economy and ushers in some dark political scenarios.

ANALYSIS: Officials scrub out Erdogan’s Istanbul defeat. Is Turkey now a “plain dictatorship”?

bne IntelliNews May 6, 2019

Election board cites “irregularities” in scheduling a June 23 rerun. Markets respond to the decision by taking it out on the already battered lira.

GAS WARS: Ukraine faces a bleak winter as Russia prepares to cut it off

Ben Aris in Berlin May 5, 2019

Winter is coming and it promises to be bleak for Ukraine as Russia is clearly preparing to cut its neighbour out of its gas transit system completely. bne IntelliNews talks exclusively with executive director of Ukraine’s gas company Naftogaz

15 years on from 2004 wave of EU accessions, convergence but a patchy overall record for CEE countries

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 1, 2019

15 years after eight CEE states entered the EU, there have been significant economic gains, but in recent years this has been accompanied by a backsliding on democratic reforms.

INTERVIEW: 2019 to be year of truth for Albania’s new securities exchange

Clare Nuttall in Tirana May 1, 2019

Albania’s new securities exchange, ALSE, hopes to see the country's first ever IPOs this year, but it faces an uphill battle to build confidence and overcome the legacy of the failed Tirana Stock Exchange.

Money-laundering crisis reshapes Estonia’s relations with non-resident businesses

Sergei Kuznetsov in Tallinn April 30, 2019

When the Estonian government launched its ambitious e-residency programme in late 2014, little did Tallinn think that the country’s largest-ever money-laundering crisis, with the local unit of Danske Bank at its centre, would make trouble

LONG READ: Erdogan loses an election and a new cycle of controlled chaos breaks out. No-one should be surprised

Akin Nazli in Belgrade April 26, 2019

Apparent attempted lynching of opposition leader shows dark polarising forces are again stirring age-old enmities. Populist president has been here before, though not amid such economic turmoil.

COMMENT: The art of the dodgy deal — freeports, fine art and the Azerbaijani Laundromat

Nicholas Kaufmann in Brussels April 26, 2019

Revelations keep trickling in about the extent of the Azerbaijani Laundromat, with the latest tying together controversial Azeri figures, Swiss art dealers and Luxembourg officials close to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Will operation “Broom” sweep pro-western Pendarovski to North Macedonia’s presidency?

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 25, 2019

The poor showing for their candidate in the first round of the presidential election shocked North Macedonia’s ruling coalition, which has pledged to wipe out incompetent officials as it fights for the votes of the ethnic Albanian minority.

Eurasia’s burgeoning populations to overtake a vanishing population in Eastern Europe

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 23, 2019

Central and Eastern Europe faces a demographic catastrophe in the coming decades that will see Central Asia pull ahead of the eastern EU member states in population terms by the end of the century.

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