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.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: CEE makes enormous progress but held back by governance issues

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 9, 2019

If half of the governance gap between Central Europe and the G7 countries was closed, income convergence would be brought forward by almost a generation, says EBRD chief economist Beata Javorcik in an interview with bne IntelliNews.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: The East-West convergence in numbers

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 9, 2019

30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the new EU members haven’t yet caught up with Western Europe — but they are drawing level with the Southern European states that were battered by the international economic crisis.

LONG READ: How Iran’s “Shadow Commander” Qasem Soleimani left home at 13 and took a stranglehold on the Middle East

bne IntelliNews November 8, 2019

217-page think tank report looks at why US and allies are on back foot in so many of region’s conflict zones.

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.

30 YEARS OF TRANSITION: Gabor Szeles, a self-made Hungarian success story

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 8, 2019

Szeles, now Hungary’s seventh richest man, started out importing PC parts in the 1980s. He made his name after the transition by reviving Videoton, now the largest electronic manufacturing services company in the CEE region.