TURKEY INSIGHT: Physical FX and gold head for gaping jaws of the black market

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 9, 2020

Lira market beyond real control. Erdogan playing it cool. Finance minister nowhere to be seen. Is there any choice but a shock hike? Would even that fail? But options remain for president before his endgame.

Alaco Dispatches: Western Balkans’ Labour Pains

Yigal Chazan of Alaco August 6, 2020

Foreign investment in the more productive sectors of the west Balkan's economy may be put at risk by skills shortages driven by high levels of migration.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Russia’s “passportization” of the Donbas

FPRI August 6, 2020

Since the spring of 2014, Russia has handed out nearly 200,000 Russian passports to Ukrainians living in the Donbas and Luhansk “People’s Republics.”

COMMENT: Belarusian establishment remains monolithic. or does it?

Tadeusz Giczan in London August 5, 2020

At his address to the nomenklatura, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said a remarkable phrase: “I’ll accept any of your decisions. But don’t you dare betray me! Betrayal won't be forgiven even in heaven."

ViennEast Compass: CESEE outlook, planning for new normal

Marcus How of Vienneast in Vienna August 3, 2020

There is no end to the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, but the new normal that will emerge could benefit the countries of Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE), due to the new opportunities that will arise.

Kyrgyzstan: Will fury around Askarov death end up signifying nothing?

Eurasianet July 29, 2020

The activist’s death in prison reflects poorly on the substantial investments that the international community has made into overhauling Kyrgyzstan’s notoriously selective and corrupt justice system.

COMMENT: The military flare-up along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border is a modern-day James Bond film plot

James Dey founder and co-chair of Friends of Azerbaijan in South Africa July 29, 2020

The outbreak of a fresh military conflict on the Armenian and Azerbaijani border is straight out of a James Bond film and threatens both the region’s and Europe’s energy security among other things

TURKEY INSIGHT: The lira awakens with a start to face the perennial question. Is it the endgame?

Akin Nazli in Belgrade July 28, 2020

Officials scramble to build new wall to defend currency after it escapes narrow range versus dollar that held sway for two months. Amid jitters, Grand Bazaar free market rates make a return.

MACRO ADVISER: August in Russia: what could possibly go wrong?

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory July 27, 2020

August is the month when more memorable events occur in Russia than in any other month of the year; whether accidents, natural catastrophes or political events.

TURKEY INSIGHT: How the central bank is actively using six different funding rates

Akin Nazli in Belgrade July 24, 2020

National lender's approach makes a nonsense of relying on its headline policy rate.

White House “paying little attention” to Armenia Azerbaijan fighting says Carnegie analyst

bne IntelIiNews July 23, 2020

Assessment concludes Washington does not see Caucasus as priority. Meanwhile, Iran, Russia and Turkey are filling “vacuum”.

BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: How the Emir of Qatar’s mum won the Istanbul land lottery and other tales of wonder

Akin Nazli in Belgrade July 20, 2020

Lo and behold! Sheikha Moza bint Nasser struck lucky with a zoning plan. Finance minister and his dad looking to make mint in same locality. Erdogan, meanwhile, seizes FX deposit of Istanbul administration but pays creditor in lira.

COMMENT: After ERM2 entry is before the very fiddly euro entry path

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna July 16, 2020

Euphoria greeted the long-awaited accession of Bulgaria and Croatia to ERM2 and the ECB-led Banking Union last week, but an intense period of further reforms lies ahead for the two countries.

COMMENT: The “Soft Coup” and the Euromaidan Reformers — what went wrong?

Robert Homans in Washington DC July 16, 2020

Given their strong commitment to Ukraine’s identity, the rule of law and the support of free enterprise, why were the Euromaidan Reformers essentially absent during the “Soft Coup” that began in March?