Features

Foreign share of Ukraine's domestic bonds falling, demand for fresh debt spluttering

Ben Aris in Berlin May 28, 2020

Foreign investors piled into Ukraine’s local debt market since it was hooked up to Clearstream’s international payment and settlement system last March, investing $5bn, but now they are selling

Russia’s VTB trapped in a London lockdown until 2024

Jason Corcoran in Dublin May 28, 2020

Russians state-owned banking giant VTB is trapped in an expensive lease for its European headquarters in London for another four years even as the Kremlin-controlled lender builds up a new investment base in Frankfurt, bne IntelliNews can reveal.

Movie night at the airport

bne IntelliNews May 24, 2020

Central Europeans in need of a culture fix after weeks of lockdown can now watch films at a growing number of drive-ins and outdoor cinemas opened in car parks, airport aprons and other open spaces as restrictions are eased.

Raw feelings in Turkmenistan as Berdimuhamedov pays 3.51 to the dollar

Nizom Khodjayev in Tashkent May 22, 2020

‘Hermit nation’ has been crisis-stricken ever since the previous energy price collapse. Reduced demand for gas from COVID-19 impacted China, savage windstorms and pandemic impacts on food imports move it ever nearer the edge.

Russian OFZs are an Emerging Markets investor's safe haven

Ben Aris in Berlin May 22, 2020

Russia has emerged as a safe haven for investors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has rocked capital markets around the world, according to a paper from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

Moscow wounded by the coronavirus epidemic, but best prepared to weather the storm

Ben Aris in Berlin May 21, 2020

More than half of all Russia’s 300,000-plus registered cases of coronavirus infections are in Moscow, making it the epicentre of the Russian epidemic. But its size and wealth makes it the best able to cope with the crisis.

Business rallies to help in fight against coronavirus across Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Ben Aris in Berlin May 20, 2020

Business leaders across the Former Soviet Union are using some of the riches they have amassed in the last three decades to help in the fight against the coronavirus.

CONFERENCE CALL: 5G to turbocharge post-COVID recovery

Ivana Jovanovic in Stuttgart May 18, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has been a fertile breeding ground for 5G conspiracy theories, and legitimate concerns about security still need to be addressed, but rolling out 5G mobile networks in Europe could give economies a much-needed boost.

Adriatic ports after the storm

Clare Nuttall in Koper and Glasgow May 18, 2020

Before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted global trade, the ports of the northern Adriatic — important entry points for Chinese goods to Central Europe — were expanding. As lockdowns are eased, it's time to look to the future again.

Uzbekistan airs its ‘undirtied’ linen in public

Kanat Shaku in Almaty May 15, 2020

Big progress made in ending forced labour and market reforms pave way for country to move away from raw cotton exports in favour of shipping finished fabrics and clothes.

INTERVIEW: Prosperity Capital CEO forecasts Russian oil majors will survive as rivals go bust

Jason Corcoran in Dublin May 15, 2020

Mattias Westman, chief executive of Prosperity Capital Management, predicts Russian oil will survive an impending bloodbath which may eliminate multinationals such as BP and Exxon Mobil.

Poland’s daily COVID-19 tally soars to nearly 600 as epidemic hits country’s coal mines

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 13, 2020

Outbreak piles further pressure on Poland's coal sector that is already grappling with competition from cheaper imports, mild winters and the development of renewable energy sources.

Retail sales under lockdown across Central and Eastern Europe are sinking

bne IntelliNews May 12, 2020

A worldwide lockdown has created havoc for retailers as their customers are forced to stay at home. There has been a little respite as sales in March surged due to panic buying but that has given way to a lockdown that keeps stores closed

Southeast Europe looks to near abroad tourists to save 2020 summer season

bne IntelliNews May 11, 2020

Holidaymakers from nearby countries that have managed to get their coronavirus outbreaks under control could provide a lifeline to Adriatic and Black Sea tourist destinations.

LONG READ: Russia’s amazing levitating ruble

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Since March the cost of oil has halved in value but the Russian ruble has only lost 19% in the same time. What is holding the value of the ruble up?

LONG READ: Alisher Usmanov, the path of a game-changer

Ben Aris in Berlin May 11, 2020

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov made ground-breaking investments from setting up a shopping bag factory in Soviet Russia to buying a stake in Facebook well ahead of its IPO. Now he is retreating from business to concentrate on philanthropy

After a year in office Zelenskiy is still struggling to end the Donbas conflict

Lindsay Mackenzie in Glasgow May 8, 2020

When Russia orchestrated a separatist takeover of the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2014, few would have predicted five years later a former television star with no traditional political experience would be elected on a promise to end the conflict.

INTERVIEW: Bakhtiyor Fazilov, major shareholder in Uzbek drilling company ERIELL Group and Enter Engineering

Kanat Shaku in Almaty May 7, 2020

ERIELL also one of three major independent drilling companies in Russia. Well construction and overhaul services provided to top oil and gas companies. Enter Engineering has important role in Uzbekistan’s COVID-19 response.

Tajikistan: Has the president’s son already taken over?

Eurasianet May 6, 2020

President Rahmon has kept a low profile, leaving his son to take the lead.

Several local officials arrested in Azerbaijan for COVID corruption

Joshua Kucera for Eurasianet May 6, 2020

Sceptics say the roundup is a show meant to create the illusion of fighting corruption even as higher-level officials remain untouched.

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