Bar high to Fed swap line for Turkey but Trump could weigh in says former top central banker

bne IntelIiNews May 13, 2020

“I’m fairly sure that we will end up there eventually,” says academic in response to prospect of IMF bailout or capital controls.

Priests' arrests cause clashes in Montenegro

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 13, 2020

Arrests made after thousands of Montenegrins attended a religious procession in violation of a ban on gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Russian diamond sales lose their sparkle as Alrosa's drop 95%

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

Sales of rough and polished diamonds almost totally halted in April but Alrosa expects to see an upward trend in demand as early as in the beginning of 3Q20.

UPDATED: Belarus central bank cuts key rate to 8%

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

The National Bank of Belarus (NBB) will cut its refinancing rate from the current level of 8.75% per annum to 8% from May 20, the regulator said in statement on May 13.

Forex and gold prices skyrocket in Iran

bne IntelIiNews May 13, 2020

With government warning of “perilous conditions” for economy, dollar hits strongest rate against rial in 22 months.

Belarus under international fire for crackdown on journalists

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

OSCE official denounced the detention and imprisonment of journalists, including freelancers, in authoritarian Belarus over the last few days.

Ukraine parliament adopts IMF-demanded banking law

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has adopted the so-called anti-Kolomoisky bank law in a final reading on May 13 that bans the return of failed banks to their former shareholders and clears the way for Kyiv to sign off on a new IMF deal.

Russian internet guru Pavel Durov cancels the TON blockchain project

Ben Aris in Berlin May 13, 2020

Internet guru and owner of the Telegram message service Pavel Durov has halted his TON blockchain project and may have to return the $1.7bn he raised in the largest ever ICO to fund the project.

Political battle puts smooth relaxation of lockdown at risk in Romania

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 13, 2020

Romania prepares to ease lockdown to “state of alert” but opposition parties block law setting new regulations on containment and social distancing.

Turkey steps up import compression and capital control efforts

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 12, 2020

Critic says Erdogan’s cajoling to keep rates low has caused investors to dump lira. With FX reserves sinking, back-door ways to lift currency, such as by squeezing trade, will be needed, but will shred central bank's remaining credibility, they add.

Press freedom watchdog calls on Turkey to revise regulation that ‘threatens financial reporting’

bne IntelIiNews May 12, 2020

Academics say directive may prompt journalists to self-censor for fear of being fined.

Russian government adopts a third economic stimulus package, calls for rescue plans by June 1

bne IntelliNews May 12, 2020

Russia's economy will shrink by at least 5% this year. The Kremlin needs to spend more to shorten the duration of the subsequent recession and has just introduced a third stimulus package.

Poland’s ruling coalition tables new law to enable presidential election during pandemic

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 12, 2020

Attention now shifts to the summer vote, for which the incumbent President Andrzej Duda will have to campaign during an unprecedented economic crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Serbia raises €2bn from 7-year Eurobond

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 11, 2020

Oversubscribed issue will fund the government's €5.1bn stimulus package after Belgrade decided against going to the IMF for support.

Putin eases Russia’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted many of Russia’s coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions, but the number of those infected continues to rise to new daily record highs.

TURKEY INSIGHT: U-turn in the face of ‘Devil’s triangle’

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 11, 2020

Officials lift UBS, Citi, BNP lira trading ban. Under regulator’s beady eye, local brokers stop offering FX trading on margin to retail clients. Foreign investors exit country at breakneck speed.

Russian retailer X5 storms e-groceries amid COVID-19

bne IntelliNews May 11, 2020

Russia's largest retailer X5 Group saw its online sales jump almost 5-fold year-on-year in April 2020 to RUB1.7bn ($23mn), which VTB Capital (VTBC) on May 8 estimated to be the largest share of e-groceries in Russia.

Poland’s election weekend that didn't happen

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 11, 2020

Last minute decision to cancel election plunged Poland's politics into ever-bigger chaos amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the looming economic crisis.

Czech central bank lowered key interest rate to 0.25% to ease COVID-19 crisis

bne IntelliNews May 10, 2020

Czech National Bank surprised the markets by lowering the two-week repo rate by 75 bp to 0.25%.

Tehran Stock Exchange passes million points for first time

bne IntelIiNews May 10, 2020

Fears of a bourse bubble, however, are troubling some investors. Iranians have pinned hopes on the stock market with other parts of the economy—such as property, gold, cars and forex—laid low by US sanctions.