Bulgaria declares state of emergency over coronavirus until April 13

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 13, 2020

While efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus are seen as necessary, many people fear that the state of emergency could lead to a serious threat to democracy in Bulgaria.

King of the castle: Friday the 13th for Russian markets in third-worst crash ever

Ben Aris in Berlin March 13, 2020

At the end of one of the most turbulent weeks on the Russian stock markets since 2014 almost the entire page of stock prices reported by Alfa Bank in its weekly wrap was red.

Wave of buybacks in Russian blue chips follows drop in market

bne IntelliNews March 13, 2020

The head and the largest shareholder of Russian gas major Novatek, Leonid Mikhelson, bought $7mn worth of the company's shares in London and RUB150mn in Moscow during the week of March 9.

Romanian car factories maintain steady output despite Covid-19 outbreak

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 13, 2020

Romania’s two main car factories are benefitting from the country’s large network of auto parts suppliers that has allowed them to maintain production despite interruptions to global supply chains.

Iran goes to IMF for first time since 1960s and scraps new year events in face of pandemic

bne IntelIiNews March 12, 2020

Central bank requests $5bn in emergency funding. Islamic Republic has world's third worst outbreak of coronavirus. Its economy, already hobbled by US sanctions, faces another body blow.

US surgeon casts doubt on testing kits behind Turkey’s ‘one coronavirus case’ claim

bne IntelIiNews March 12, 2020

All hospitals nationwide send samples to centralised testing facility in Ankara. Lack of identified infections “provoked suspicion” because there is no way to challenge the result, doctor and academic says.

Zagreb stock exchange ordered to halt trading after main index slumps

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 12, 2020

The CROBEX dropped by over 10% shortly after trading opened, with the biggest fall in value reported by Arena Hospitality Group as the coronavirus crisis hits Croatia's large tourism sector.

Ukraine's new cabinet offers voluntary tariff cuts for renewables, but ready to go to court in disputes

bne IntelliNews March 12, 2020

Ukraine’s new cabinet shocked investors by threatening to cut generous “green tariff” arrangements retroactively for renewable energy developers. This may prompt a raft of lawsuits from irate investors.

Ukraine shut out of international market by surging Eurobond yields

Ben Aris in Berlin March 12, 2020

The yield on Ukraine's 2028 dollar denominated Eurobonds surged 147bps to 10.91%, effectively shutting the country out of the international capital markets as it faces more than $5bn of debt repayments this year.

Serbia to spend its way out of coronavirus crisis

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 12, 2020

Belgrade announces an additional €200mn for investment projects and issues "staycation" vouchers to citizens to help local resorts weather the crisis.

Hungary could dip into recession warns finance minister

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest March 12, 2020

In the 2020 budget the government set a 4% growth target but now we cannot exclude a 0.3% decline, Finance Minister Mihaly Varga said.

Russian air carriers show no major impact from coronavirus in February

bne IntelliNews March 12, 2020

The number of passengers carried decreased by 4% y/y for the flagship national Aeroflot airline and 13% for its subsidiary Rossiya, but increased by 32% for Aeroflot's fastest growing lowcost subsidiary Pobeda.

Hungary takes unprecedented measures to fight the spread of coronavirus

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest March 11, 2020

Hungary's government declared a state of emergency that will entail travel bans, border control, the closure of cinemas and theatres, and the cancellation of public events until further notice.

Babacan’s party to challenge Erdogan dubbed “Cure” or “Remedy”

bne IntelIiNews March 11, 2020

At launch ex-ally of Turkish president says: “This country’s people have been made very sad in the last years … We will not allow our nation to have more sadness.”

Polish schools and public facilities in lockdown as government steps up efforts to contain coronavirus epidemic

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw March 11, 2020

Closing down schools and other public spaces is a preventative measure so that Poland avoids a situation similar to the one currently unfolding in Italy, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference.

Coronavirus crisis gives Florin Citu a shot at forming a new government in Romania

bne IntelliNews March 11, 2020

Opposition MPs are understood to be considering giving their votes to prime minister designate Citu’s cabinet, to avoid leaving the country without a government to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus to hit Baltic countries’ economies hard

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw March 11, 2020

The outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic could shave up to 1pp off economic growth in the Baltic states, according to analysis from Swedbank.

Turkey reports first coronavirus infection

bne IntellIiNews March 11, 2020

Analysts have been scratching their heads at country’s claim to be officially free of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Russia's Duma passes a law to reset Putin’s presidential term clock to zero

Ben Aris in Berlin March 10, 2020

Russia’s parliament passed laws on March 10 that would reset President Vladimir Putin's term count to zero and clear the way for him to stay in office until 2038, when he will be 83 years old.

Underpopulated Croatian region offers €0.13 homes to woo workers

bne IntelliNews March 10, 2020

As mass emigration results in a labour market squeeze, local authorities are offering homes to young families who commit to live in the area for at least 15 years.