Eastern Europe / Features

GAZ workers' livelihoods on the line as road trip protestors arrive in Vienna

Ben Aris in London December 5, 2019

The ten GAZ workers on a road trip across Europe to highlight the plight of Russia's second largest car plant arrived in Vienna on December 4 and delivered a letter to the US ambassador to highlight their plight.

CEE “brimming with opportunities” in renewables — and airports

bne IntelliNews December 3, 2019

In a sign of the complex politics surrounding climate change, CEE has huge opportunities for investment into two growth areas: renewable energy and airports, finds a new study by law firm CMS.

Saxo Bank’s Outrageous Predictions 2020

Daniel Rad December 3, 2019

What are the odds on China, Iran and Russia creating a new world currency? On Moscow slashing oil production? And on Hungary making a ‘Huxit’ while Trump gets an election hammering?

LONG READ: Debt deals in Mozambique that go wrong

Ben Aris in Berlin November 28, 2019

When the story broke it looked like a simple case of corruption. Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world, had taken on $2bn of secret debt to buy some patrol boats from a little know Middle Eastern arms dealer and three years later had

Ukraine has 16 days left to do a transit deal with Gazprom

Ben Aris in Berlin November 27, 2019

Time has almost run out for Russia and Ukraine to strike a new gas transit deal before the previous one expires. There are 16 days left until December 13 before it becomes impossible to reach a new agreement ahead of the expiration of the contract.

Rosatom rolls out the small modular reactor: a mini-nuclear power station to solve some big problems

Ben Aris in Berlin November 26, 2019

Time is running out for the planet. Next year is a crunch year when CO2 emissions must peak if we are to avoid an ecological disaster. Nuclear power is one of the few options we have. So Rosatom is rolling out small modular reactor (SMR).

X5 bets on data and retail tech to stay ahead

bne IntelliNews November 25, 2019

X5 Retail Group is turning to technology in an effort to stay ahead of the disruption Russia’s food retail market is going face as the business goes digital.

BOOK REVIEW: Why Germany’s commercial interests prevail in its dealings with big, bad Gazprom

Jason Corcoran in Moscow November 21, 2019

There is an enigma as to why German political and public opinion is in favour of the Kremlin’s controversial Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. "The Bridge: Natural Gas in a Redivided Europe" by Thane Gustafson tries to solve the riddle.

Build build build: Russia’s national projects get underway

Ben Aris in Berlin November 21, 2019

Russia’s RUB25.7 trillion ($390bn) investments planned for the 12 national projects are getting underway and the state will inject additional spending of 4% of GDP each year. The lion's share of investment will go into building roads.

Norilsk Nickel to ramp up capex into increasing production and cutting emissions

Ben Aris in Berlin November 20, 2019

Norilsk Nickel doesn't expect to change its generous dividend formula in the next four years, despite ramping up investment to increase production and reduce the company's emissions

Norilsk Nickel target price upped by a quarter as climate crisis to send the cost of nickel and palladium soaring from 2020

Ben Aris in Berlin November 18, 2019

Analysts at VTB Capital increased the target price of Norilsk Nickel shares by a quarter in anticipation of a spike in the prices for nickel, palladium and other platinum group metals next year as the climate crisis intensifies.

Yandex sets up NGO to hold its golden share, changes governance to reassure government and investors

Ben Aris in Berlin November 18, 2019

Russian internet giant and one of Europe’s largest tech companies Yandex has come to an agreement with the Russian authorities to amend its governance and give an NGO with public participation control over its “golden share” with veto powers.

Gazprom extends its lead in the King of the castle race

Ben Aris in Berlin November 16, 2019

State-owned gas company Gazprom extended its lead over rival state-owned banking giant Sberbank in the race to be Russia’s most valuable company, after its market capitalisation stepped up by over $10bn in November to make the company worth $93bn.

From Russia to Ireland: Uralchem’s long fight for its investments

bne IntelliNews November 14, 2019

Leading Russian fertiliser producer Uralchem is in a nasty corporate conflict involving one of Russia’s largest chemical plants, Togliattiazot, and its former management that has been running years

ESG is a must have in Russia, but adds no alpha

Ben Aris in Berlin November 12, 2019

If a Russian company doesn't pay attention to its environmental, social and governance score it will lose investors, but if it does switch to a more sustainable model it won’t earn any real reward.

Russia's consumer credit driven retail running out of steam, while Ukraine has a boom ahead

Ben Aris in Berlin November 10, 2019

The consumer debt profiles of Russia and Ukraine are very different. Russia’s household debt rose to 15.5% of GDP as of the end of 2018 and is just shy of its all time high of 15.6% set in 2014. Ukraine’s household debt has been falling steadily.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: Ground zero and the fall of the wall in Berlin

Ben Aris in Berlin November 9, 2019

I’d just arrived in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down. It was hard to appreciate the enormity of the change that had just happened at the time but the reunification of the two Germanys changed everything.

CEE monthly bond wrap: Bond issues in Eastern Europe pick up strongly in October, but activity subdued in Central Europe

Ben Aris in Berlin November 8, 2019

Bond issuers from Eastern Europe were active in October with 18 bonds issued worth a total of $4.5bn of which two-thirds of the value and 14 out of the 18 were Russian bonds, according to data provided by CBonds.