COMMENT: OPEC+ puts off production cut decision for a month

Guy Burton of Lancaster University March 7, 2021

A decision over oil production levels and prices looks to have been delayed for a month following the OPEC+ meeting, between OPEC’s 13 members and 10 other non-OPEC countries, on March 4.

COMMENT: Uzbek privatisation - this time it seems to be for real

Fiezullah Saidov director of Uzbekistan Equities in Tashkent March 7, 2021

Privatisation efforts in Uzbekistan are moving to a practical level. The newly appointed State Asset Management Agency head has started to implement the presidential decree on privatisation with a new zeal.

ING: Commodity supercycle calls grow

Warren Patterson Head of Commodities Strategy at ING in the Netherlands March 7, 2021

It has been an exceptional month for commodity markets, with growing inflation expectations increasing investor interest in the assets. Meanwhile, fundamental developments, particularly in the oil market, have only provided a further boost.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: The US takes on Kolomoisky

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 6, 2021

On March 5, the US State Department issued a public designation of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky for his involvement in “significant corruption,” and banned both him and his immediate family from entering the United States.

ING: Turkey’s inflation remains on an upward path

Muhammet Mercan Chief Economist for Turkey at ING in Istanbul March 4, 2021

Turkish inflation maintained its uptrend in February reflecting still strong cost-push factors, sticky services inflation and elevated inflation expectations.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Kyiv aiming for a staff-level agreement with IMF by late May

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 4, 2021

After the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ended its review in February without allocating the next part of its $5bn loan to Ukraine, Kyiv is now expecting to receive a $700mn tranche by early June

ING: higher oil does not mean better outlook for Russia’s ruble

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow March 4, 2021

The $9/bbl upgrade in ING’s 2021 oil price forecast boosts Russia's annual exports by $25bn. But it will be sterilised by an additional $15bn of FX purchases and elevated capital outflows. ING maintains $/RUB forecast of RUB72-73 for 1H21.

COMMENT: Democracy is struggling in Georgia

bne IntelliNews March 3, 2021

The current political crisis reveals how detached Georgia's political elites have become from the demands of ordinary people.

OBITUARY: World’s longest-serving city mayor Milan Bandic dies of heart attack

bne IntelliNews March 1, 2021

Zagreb mayor’s death ahead of local elections this spring has political repercussions at local and national level.

ING: Bad signs in the Hungarian job market

Peter Virovacz is a Senior Economist with ING in Hungary February 26, 2021

It was just a matter of time before we saw a serious impact on the Hungarian labour market from the second wave of Covid-19. The January data suggests a slump in growth in the first quarter, despite the latest upside surprise in wages.

COLCHIS: Georgia is in crisis, but it’s far from the end of democracy

Alexander Scrivener of the Eurasia Democratic Security Network February 25, 2021

The news from Georgia over the past few days has been depressing. Headlines like, “Georgian opposition leader arrested” and, “opposition HQ stormed” evoke the sort of post-Soviet authoritarianism Georgia wants to put behind itself

COMMENT: Why critics are asking if Inner Mongolia is the next Tibet or Xinjiang

Antonio Graceffo February 25, 2021

Beijing is forcing China’s Mongolians to become Han Chinese. The Chinese Communist Party is suppressing their language, religion and culture.

Romania: Demography, labour force and pandemic

Alexandru M. Tanase February 23, 2021

There were many changes during 2020, but for Romanians it is quite clear that 2021 will not be a year of plenty.

VIENNEAST COMPASS: All in? Kosovo, Albania and the prospects of unification

Marcus How of ViennEast February 23, 2021

Citizens and ruling elites of both countries are prepared to pay lip service to a shared dream but pause when confronted with the practical reality of its realisation.

OPINION: PM's resignation is a make-or-break moment for Georgia

Ghia Nodia in Tbilisi February 23, 2021

What next in Georgia following the turmoil in recent days that has seen the PM quit, the leader of the opposition grabbed by security forces and Irakli Garibashvili, who is refusing to hold a snap election, made the new head of government?

ING: Oil prices at $60, now what?

Warren Patterson head of commodities strategy at ING in Singapore February 19, 2021

There seems to be no stopping oil prices, with ICE Brent now trading well above $60/bbl. Clearly OPEC+ cuts are doing their job, while global recovery hopes are playing a big part. Will the oil price keep rising?

ING: Romania’s 2021 budget plans – as good as it gets

Valentin Tataru Chief Economist of ING in Romania, Trieu Pham Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt Strategist for ING in the UK February 17, 2021

Romania's 2021 budget plans could hardly have been more ambitious after being constrained by the high share of rigid spending in the last few years

ING: Double-digit growth rates in Poland’s foreign trade

Leszek Kasek senior economist at ING in Warsaw February 17, 2021

Poland's central bank has just released balance of payments data for December and posted a moderate €0.4bn current account surplus,. That translates to a record-high GDP surplus of 3.6% for 2020 as a whole

TURKEY INSIGHT: Short termists start taking profits with ‘normalisation’ story oversold

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 14, 2021

And don’t buy the de-dollarization story. The Turks are not rushing into FX and gold anymore simply because the banking system is no longer pumping out fresh lira.

Tajikistan: Would-be future president’s interview underwhelms

Eurasianet February 12, 2021

Mayor Emomali says city hall spent $1.14mn on bus stops.