Ukraine’s last chance to fulfil Minsk accords is in November Prystaiko says

bne IntelliNews October 16, 2019

The last chance to fulfil the Minsk II accords will come in November according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko in comments made to Reuters on October 14.

Russian businesses’ lack of trust in government holding back crucial investment says finance minister Siluanov

Ben Aris in Berlin October 15, 2019

Underinvestment is putting a brake on Russia’s growth, but the problem’s not a lack of cash, it’s Russian business people not trusting the government, according to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

Zelenskiy's approval ratings fall as his government gets bogged down in multiple crises

Ben Aris in Berlin October 15, 2019

The tidal wave of public support that swept the new Ukrainian president and his party Servant of the People into power this year is starting to subside.

Ukraine's PrivatBank wins London case blocking oligarch Kolomoisky from unfreezing $2bn in assets

Ben Aris in Berlin October 15, 2019

Assets were seized as part of lender’s efforts to recover $7.2bn looted under old ownership. Bank now free to pursue lawsuit claiming fraud on a massive scale in which shell companies owned by shareholders emptied it of money.

VW delays decision on Turkey car plant citing reputational risk due to Syria offensive

bne IntelliNews October 15, 2019

Move may unsettle Turkish president Erdogan who has taken a personal interest in securing the investment, even ordering officials to switch to Passat cars.

Belarusian supermarket chain Eurotorg reports 5% increase in sales to $1.2bn in 6M19

bne IntelliNews October 15, 2019

The biggest supermarket chain in Belarus Eurotorg (aka Euroopt) reported that sales were up 11.9% year-on-year to BYN2.4bn in local currency terms and up 5.1% y/y to $1.2bn in dollar equivalent in the first six months of this year.

Vote counting in Kosovo election suspended after ballot papers suspected laced with chemical agent

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest October 15, 2019

Vote counting has been suspended in Kosovo, Radio Free Europe informed, after 26 Central Election Commission (CEC) officials sought medical help for the allergic reaction occurred after opening five ballot boxes from Serbia.

Citigroup Russia markets CEO departs as Wall Street retreats in Moscow

Jason Corcoran in Moscow October 14, 2019

Alexei Bolshakov, Citigroup’s Head of Russian Equities and Chief Executive of its local Global Markets division, has left the bank as Wall Street accelerates its retreat in Moscow, bne IntelliNews can reveal.

Belarus president steps up anti-NATO rhetoric

bne IntelliNews October 14, 2019

Belarusian authoritarian President Aleksandr Lukashenko pledges to prepare a joint response with Russia to NATO's major drills in Europe, which should take place next year.

Russian brands see 16% growth in value to $960bn in 2019

Ben Aris in Berlin October 14, 2019

Russia has jumped to 14th position in the Brand Finance Nation Brands 2019 ranking, up from 18th last year, after recording a solid 16% growth in brand value to $960bn, says Brand Finance in a report.

Hungary's opposition scores stunning upsets in local elections

Levente Szilagyi in Budapest October 14, 2019

Ruling Fidesz party loses Budapest after nine years. Overall results across country amount to first serious electoral reverse for Viktor Orban since 2010.

Ukraine’s talks with the International Monetary Fund have “stalled” says NBU

Ben Aris in Berlin October 14, 2019

Ukraine’s talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have “stalled” and a deal before the end of this year is looking increasingly unlikely because of the dispute over the snowballing Privatbank crisis.

Poland’s PiS win general election but fails to increase its domination

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw October 14, 2019

Poland’s ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) won the general election, an exit poll showed on October 13. PiS scooped up 43.6% of the vote that should give it another four years with a clear majority in the lower house of the Polish parliament, the Se

Moldovan prosecutors request arrest warrant for former leader Plahotniuc

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest October 11, 2019

Oligarch who was Moldova's most powerful politician until recently is wanted for money laundering in connection to the three banks at the centre of Moldova's $1bn bank frauds.

Georgia’s booming, little regulated gambling industry doubled in size during 2018

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest October 11, 2019

Most casinos located in Batumi, known as “The Las Vegas of the Black Sea”, just half an hour from Turkey from where it draws droves of customers.

Bulgaria’s antitrust body starts in-depth probe into sale of CEZ’ assets

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia October 10, 2019

Probe into deal to sell CEZ' Bulgarian assets to local Eurohold follows collapse of earlier deal with Inercom that was blocked by regulators last year.

Top Turkish retailer BIM gearing to pay additional net cash dividend per share

Akin Nazli in Belgrade October 10, 2019

Move would follow H1 performance that saw net profit rise 7%, suggesting a profit margin of 3% and a P/E ratio of 23.

Crunch year for Iran as World Bank forecasts 8.7% GDP contraction in 2019/2020

bne IntelliNews October 10, 2019

Economic update highlights how hard it will be for government to address climbing poverty rates resulting from punishing US sanctions imposed on Islamic Republic.

Ukrainian President Zelenskiy fudges answers on the future of PrivatBank at his first marathon press conference

bne IntelliNews October 10, 2019

Zelenskiy rolled the dice and is gambling with the future of his presidency at the press conference marathon he called in a food hall in Kyiv that went on all day on October 10.

Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia agree to set up "Balkan Schengen" zone

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia October 10, 2019

Plans to enable passport-free travel across the three countries by end-2021 in an attempt to facilitate trade and make political relations more peaceful.