Features

Udokan: Alisher Usmanov’s Siberian copper valley

Ben Aris in Berlin June 30, 2020

With its launch scheduled for 2023, Siberia's Udokan copper deposit is among the largest in the world.

Letter to Putin exposes campaign against US investor Calvey

Jason Corcoran in Moscow June 29, 2020

Letters to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s powerful Federal Security Service (FSB) reveal how shareholders in Russian lender Vostochny Bank sought to smear US investor Michael Calvey

Leading Czech aviation specialist turns to high-tech respirator production

Ben Aris in Berlin June 26, 2020

It's a sort of coronacrisis-inspired version of the swords to ploughshares story. WPA, the Czech Republic’s leading aircraft component supplier, has turned its high-tech production skills to producing high-quality respirators

Armenia seeks security forces reorganisation

Ani Mejlumyan for Eurasianet June 25, 2020

Behind the unexplained recent firings is a push to put the security services under greater civilian control.

Global pandemic is boon for ESG funds, outperforming their brown peers

Ben Aris in Berlin June 22, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a boon for environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds, 85% of which are now outperforming their non-ESG peers, according to a paper released by the Institute of International Finance (IIF)

Tourists trickle back to the Adriatic

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 21, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people are now on the move in Central and Southeast Europe as travel restrictions imposed to contain the novel coronavirus are eased.

LONG READ: Construction work on Belarus’ Ostrovets nuclear power station almost complete, but is it safe?

Ben Aris in Berlin June 19, 2020

Construction work at Belarus’ Ostrovets NPP is coming to an end and it is expected to come online in July. But the facility remains a bone of contention with its neighbours, who simply don't trust the Belarusians to run a nuclear facility

China and Russia blur lines on “division of labour” in exerting influence over Central Asia

Kanat Shaku in Almaty June 18, 2020

Author of report from Washington think tank points to fading of traditional arrangement whereby Moscow takes care of security matters while Beijing takes care of the economic side.

Trump, Erdogan & Halkbank—John Bolton memoir throws focus back on curious events

bne IntelIiNews June 18, 2020

Controversy obscured by sheer number of other issues surrounding US president. New book says it should have been centre-stage.

Belarus looking forward to a long hot summer as presidential elections loom

Ben Aris in Berlin June 16, 2020

In his first 15 years in office, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko enjoyed impressive popularity. But he faces mounting opposition as three creditable candidates plan to run against him in August's presidential elections

INTERVIEW: PrivatBank under attack but on the mend

Ben Aris in Berlin June 15, 2020

The state nationalised PrivatBank in 2016 and has put it back on its feet. But the management is fighting a constant legal battle against its former oligarch owner, Ihor Kolomoisky, who is trying to regain control of the bank.

LONG READ: Voters in Serbia starkly divided into pro and anti Vucic camps before ‘corona elections’

Ivana Jovanovic June 15, 2020

The June 21 elections most likely won’t bring any change on the Serbian political scene. Thanks to the fragmented opposition and smart moves by President Aleksandar Vucic, the SNS is heading for another comfortable majority.

CEE banks heading for one of their worst crises in 10 years

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 15, 2020

Post-COVID-19, banks in Central and Southeast Europe expect demand for financing to contract sharply, credit standards to tighten and an increase in NPLs, a new EIB survey shows.

Emerging markets enjoying their strongest crisis bounceback ever

Ben Aris in Berlin June 11, 2020

Emerging markets (EM) stock markets are enjoying their strongest crisis bounceback ever, as coronavirus (COVID-19) infections stabilise and governments remove two-month-long lockdowns.

TURKEY INSIGHT: What gives? Lenders buy in negative real yields on inflation-indexed bonds to comply with asset ratio

Akin Nazli in Belgrade June 10, 2020

It’s rather that than lend to financial “zombies” in the face of Erdogan pressure.

Ukraine’s green energy disaster is sliding towards a power crisis

Ben Aris in Berlin June 10, 2020

Ukraine is heading towards a power crisis in the next few weeks if the government cannot come to terms with the irate owners of the country’s burgeoning green energy sector

Criminal charges are piling up against Togliattiazot owner in Russia’s top corporate dispute

Ben Aris in Berlin June 10, 2020

Sergei Makhlai, the majority shareholder of Togliattiazot (ToAZ), has become a defendant in a new case where he is accused of ordering the payment of a $1.2mn bribe to judges of Russia’s Supreme Court to avoid a massive tax payment

bne's Despair Index paints a mixed picture during the corona storm

Ben Aris in Berlin June 9, 2020

We have updated bne IntelliNews Despair Index, which better reflects what damage something like the coronacrisis does to the bottom half of society in the countries of New Europe. While the index has ticked up, the damage is limited so far.

LONG READ: Something for everyone in Russia's National Plan for Economic Recovery

Ben Aris in Berlin June 7, 2020

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with the government’s new National Plan for Economic Recovery (NPER) plan last week to help the Russian economy get back on its feet after the coronacrisis

Uzbekistan pledges huge investments in troubled exclave

Eurasianet June 5, 2020

PM Aripov said $100mn will be spent overhauling Sokh.

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