Southeast Europe / News

Turkey’s electricity consumption collapses 17% in May

Akin Nazli in Belgrade June 2, 2020

Some analysts see indicator as more reliable than GDP, industrial output and PMI data when it comes to assessing extent of industrial activity in country.

Bosnian Federation’s prime minister detained over import of useless ventilators from China

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 29, 2020

Fadil Novalic was arrested over the ventilators imported by a fruit processing firm with no medical experience. His party called the move a well planned “coup” intended to harm his credibility.

Turkish Treasury taps $3bn from domestic paper sales to local banks ahead of eurobond redemption

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 29, 2020

Turkey’s state banks sold around $44bn of hard currency in first four months of this year and $77bn since start of 2019 to support embattled lira, analyst’s calculations indicate. May expected to bring 2020 sales to $50bn+.

Trump Towers Istanbul partner ‘lobbied White House for vast expansion of US-Turkey trade’

bne IntelIiNews May 29, 2020

News service uses documents deposited by PR firm to reveal Mehmet Ali Yalcindag’s activities. Now head of Turkey-US Business Council, the businessman, once called a “close friend” by Donald Trump, is pushing to build up agriculture and LNG shipments.

Bulgarian police arrest deputy minister over illegal waste imports

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 28, 2020

Illegal waste imports from the Italian mafia were delivered to Bulgaria, reportedly to be burned in local power plants.

For first time Turkey’s LNG imports outstrip pipeline gas imports

bne IntelIiNews May 28, 2020

Gas delivered via pipelines from Russia and Iran down 72% y/y and 33% y/y in March. US expanding shipments of liquefied natural gas amid glut as spot prices fall.

Romania to break nuke plant expansion agreement with Chinese partner

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 27, 2020

State-controlled nuclear energy producer Nuclearelectrica will begin talks to terminate the agreement signed with China's CGN on the construction of two new reactors at the Cernavoda.

Tensions between Bosnia, Montenegro and Serbia rise over closed borders

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 26, 2020

After declaring itself coronavirus free, Montenegro plans to open its borders — but not to neighbours Serbia or Bosnia, which claim the decision is linked to the dispute between the government in Podgorica and the Serbian Orthodox church.

Montenegro declares itself a coronavirus-free state

bne IntelliNews May 25, 2020

Just 324 cases reported in tiny Balkan state during pandemic, as Podgorica imposed strict preemptive lockdown. New economic support package now planned.

Moldovan PM alienates closest EU ally with Facebook corruption claim

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 25, 2020

Ion Chicu writes on social media platform that Romania is Europe's most corrupt country and slams Bucharest’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic at a moment when Chisinau already risks losing EU funding.

Turkey ‘treads carefully’ as benchmark rate is cut by 50bp

bne IntelIiNews May 21, 2020

Easing comes on back of some stabilisation in the embattled lira but markets remain concerned by country’s lack of FX reserves.

Gulf ally Qatar expands swap line to help Turkey defend lira

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 20, 2020

Currency falls slightly after news. Markets want to see more. Finance minister remarks “Imports will not be easy” as Ankara moves to boost domestic production. Turkish officials, meanwhile, said to be concerned by possible new rush for dollars.

Fitch cuts outlook on three Turkish banks citing Ankara’s weaker FX reserves

bne IntelIiNews May 19, 2020

Rating agency also downgrades Halkbank from ‘B’ to ‘B+’. Ability of sovereign to support lenders in event of need has declined, it says.

Moldova’s head prosecutor accuses Plahotniuc in u-turn on $1bn bank frauds

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 19, 2020

Moldova to issue extradition request for oligarch who was the country’s most powerful politician until his party was ousted from office last June.

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.

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.

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.