Tehran warns US off “piracy” as Iranian fuel tankers head for Venezuela

bne IntelIiNews May 18, 2020

Foreign minister says Washington must “give up bullying on the world stage”. Four of five vessels already in the Atlantic.

Russian population is moving west

bne IntelliNews May 18, 2020

Three decades after the fall of the Soviet Union Russia’s population is starting to undo the legacy of central planning and is moving west.

Poland’s public radio cancels pop chart list after song critical of Kaczynski flies to number one

bne IntelliNews May 18, 2020

Like other public media in Poland, Programme Three has been stacked with PiS loyalists, tilting the radio station’s editorial policy heavily to the right.

Bubble jitters grow as data shows €3bn invested in Tehran Stock Exchange in two months

bne IntelIiNews May 17, 2020

Top index TEDPIX retreats from million mark. Economist forecasts rise to 1.5mn points before 12% fall.

Poland’s Civic Platform confirms Warsaw mayor Trzaskowski as new presidential hopeful

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 17, 2020

Poland’s largest opposition party hopes Trzaskowski will party’s presidential bid after the previous pick, Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, struggled with the challenge of campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic.

Outrage in Tirana over dawn demolition of historic theatre

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 17, 2020

Actors and NGOs campaigned for years to prevent the old National Theatre being torn down. President Ilir Meta called the demolition an "unpardonable crime".

Viktor Orban sets end of May deadline to return special powers to parliament

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 17, 2020

The legislation allowing the government to rule by decrees during the pandemic had no sunset clause, raising fears that Hungary’s illiberal leader would abuse his new powers.

North Macedonia extends state of emergency for two weeks

bne IntelliNews May 17, 2020

Extending the state of emergency will give Skopje time to implement economic and social measures to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.

Slovenia declares end of coronavirus epidemic

bne IntelliNews May 15, 2020

Slovenia is the first country in Europe to announce an end to the COVID-19 epidemic after a successful lockdown brought the number of new daily cases close to zero.

Ukraine’s coronavirus epidemic reaches peak

bne IntelliNews May 15, 2020

The number of recovered cases from the COVID-19 epidemic exceeded the number of newly infected on May 13 for the first time since the pandemic began in Ukraine, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov told a press briefing.

MEPs say democracy and fundamental rights under threat in Hungary

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 15, 2020

European lawmakers urged the European Commission and Council to proceed with the Article 7 procedure at a debate on the rule of law in Hungary.

Markets seek leads on who might come through to save Turkey from second currency crisis danger

bne IntelIiNews May 14, 2020

Ankara appears to be in swap line talks with UK, Japan, Qatar and China.

Gulnara Karimova’s son publishes list of assets confiscated from her in Uzbekistan

bne IntelIiNews May 14, 2020

Includes Perfectum Mobile, Uzbekistan Post, 98 apartments, five restaurants, four cinemas, duty free retail outlets at city airport, network of distribution stores for Levi's, Mango and Benetton, more than 20 construction sites and Coca-Cola plant.

ZapSib cushions the blow of the coronavirus crisis to Sibur’s 1Q20 results

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Leading Russian petrochemical company Sibur's revenues were down 7.8% year on year due to falling prices in ruble terms caused by the current economic crisis, but the newly completed ZapSib facility has cushioned the blow.

Russia’s Duma passes a law to allow remote voting in referendum on constitutional changes

bne IntelIiNews May 14, 2020

Russia’s Duma passes a law to allow remote voting in referendum on constitutional changes

Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund ready to start mass production of anti-COVID-19 drug

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, is ready to start the mass production of a drug it claims is effective in the treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Critics fear Hungarian government's bill on special economic zones will hurt opposition local governments

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 14, 2020

Special economic zones will help relaunch the economy, preserve and create new jobs, according to the bill. Opponents say it will allow Fidesz-leaning political bodies to allocate resources on the basis of political affiliation.

Russia's Sberbank income collapses, plunging by 85%, return on equity down to 3% in April, RAS results show

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Russia's largest bank Sberbank reported net income of RUB11.5bn ($155mn) in April 2020, plunging by 85% year on year and 81% month on month, making a return on equity (ROE) of only 3%, the lowest since 2015.

Moldova considers issuing first Eurobonds since 1997

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 14, 2020

Chisinau to use funds raised for infrastructure projects after $200mn loan offered by Russia was blocked by the Constitutional Court.

Czech-Slovak billionaires Kretinsky and Tkac become fourth-largest shareholders in US Macy's

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Investors might consider acquiring additional stakes if the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic that which forced the retail chain to close its stores causes a further fall in the share price.