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.

Turkey’s TAV and partner pay $415mn for Almaty Airport

bne IntelIiNews May 8, 2020

Seen as sitting on strategic Asia-Europe trade junction along China's Belt and Road initiative to develop infrastructure and associated investments.

Prosperity Capital sets up Paris hub in post-Brexit move

Jason Corcoran in Dublin May 8, 2020

Prosperity Capital, the most successful portfolio investor in Russia and the former Soviet Union, is setting up an office in France to serve as its European marketing arm following the decision by the UK to exit the European Union, bne IntelliNews ca

IMF cancels Ukraine EFF deal, downgrades it to an SBA due to "unprecedented economic uncertainty"

Ben Aris in Berlin May 8, 2020

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cancelled its agreement with Ukraine for the extended $5.5bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and says negotiations must restart for a downgraded Standby agreement (SBA) due to “political instability.”

Uzbek-born philanthropist Alisher Usmanov donates $15mn to help victims of the Sardoba dam disaster

Ben Aris in Berlin May 7, 2020

Uzbek-born businessman and philanthropist Alisher Usmanov donated $15mn to help those affected by the busting of the Sardoba dam last week that had destroyed dozens of villages and had displaced a total of around 100,000 people from their homes.

Belarus authorities lash out at journalists, bloggers amid snowballing coronavirus crisis

bne IntelliNews May 7, 2020

Minsk revoked the media accreditation of a news crew of the Russian Kremlin-controlled television Channel One and deported its correspondent.

Russia’s services PMI crashes to 18-year record low

bne IntelliNews May 7, 2020

As expected, Russia’s services IHS Markit Russia Services Purchasing Index (PMI) crashed to its lowest level on record in April and was far worse than the manufacturing index reported earlier, dragging the composite index result down as well

Poland’s Kaczynski orders voters to ignore Sunday’s presidential election as he strikes deal with coalition rebel

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 7, 2020

The decision to cancel the Sunday vote – regardless of its highly dubious legal character – appears to be a setback for ruling PiS, which has said for weeks it wants the election to happen in May.

SAPO opens criminal case against ex-Prosecutor General Riaboshapka

bne IntelliNews May 7, 2020

Ukraine’s Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAPO) has opened a criminal investigation against former Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka, who has been dubbed “Ukraine’s only ever honest Prosecutor General” on May 6.

Iran’s virus success ‘may be going into reverse’

bne IntelIiNews May 6, 2020

Officials concerned by rising trend of infections as country attempts to open up to protect already battered economy.

Bulgaria not to extend state of emergency after May 13

bne IntelliNews May 6, 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Bulgaria remains relatively low at below 2,000, and the government has already started easing restrictions.

Poland’s presidential vote in limbo four days before official date

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 6, 2020

Poles are electing their president this Sunday. Or maybe they aren't.

Almost $1bn worth of damage caused by bursting of Sardoba dam in Uzbekistan

bne IntelIiNews May 6, 2020

Dramatic video released on social media shows moments shortly after dam burst, flooding villages. Army sent to divert water flow to lake. Criminal proceedings launched.

ECHR rules in favour of Romania's sacked anti-corruption chief

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 6, 2020

With Laura Codruta Kovesi at the helm, the National Anticorruption Directorate investigated numerous serving and former ministers and other high-level officials — but this brought her into conflict with Romania's top politicians.

Lukashenko seeks Belarus presidential election by late August amid disastrous coronavirus rate

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2020

President Lukashenko said he intends to remain at his post "for as long as the people will trust me", but criticism is growing over the Belarusian authorities' refusal to impose a quarantine on the country.

Serbia to end state of emergency, hold general election

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 5, 2020

Serbia had one of Southeast Europe's biggest COVID-19 outbreaks but the number of new cases has been falling after Belgrade imposed a strict lockdown.