Romania’s food retailers and online marketplaces capitalise on crisis

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 24, 2020

Malls have been shut as part of the measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic, but supermarkets are seeing robust demand as Romanians stock up on food.

Belarus considering selective default on its external state debt

bne IntelliNews March 24, 2020

Belarus is considering restructuring some part of its external state debt and in effect defaulting on debt coming due this year, First Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Dmitry Krutoi said.

IMF in talks to increase its assistance to Ukraine to $9.5bn

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2020

The International Monetary Fund may increase its assistance to Ukraine to a total of $9.5bn by drawing on a $50bn emergency fund it established to help low-income countries cope with the stop shock of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Kazakhstan orders state companies to sell forex revenue

bne IntelIiNews March 23, 2020

Order comes from president after tenge weakens by 17% against dollar in face of collapsed oil prices.

Poland’s coronavirus case toll races past 600 as state of epidemic kicks in

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw March 23, 2020

Sunday marked the end of the first full week of partial lockdown imposed by the government in an effort to keep the epidemic at levels manageable by the country’s underfunded and understaffed health care system.

Hungarian government submits bill to extend state of emergency

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest March 23, 2020

Despite a recent hike in coronavirus cases, the bill is not supported by opposition parties that voiced concern about granting the cabinet special powers for an indefinite length of time.

Series of earthquakes shake Zagreb

bne IntelliNews March 22, 2020

Earthquakes strike close to Zagreb as number of new coronavirus cases is starting to accelerate. Authorities urge Croatians forced out of their homes to avoid gathering to prevent spread of the virus.

Russian assets sees a all-time record $1.4bn of outflows in a week

bne IntelliNews March 20, 2020

Russian assets saw an all-time record $1.4bn outflows from investors from its combined equity and bond securities in the week ending March 18 compared with an outflow of $590mn the week before.

Crippling pandemic will cause Q2 GDP collapse of 17.2% in Turkey says JPMorgan

bne IntelIiNews March 19, 2020

Investment bank concludes country can expect worst annualised growth shrinkage of any emerging market. But finance minister rejects idea that economic carnage is on horizon.

Russia reports first coronavirus death

bne IntelliNews March 19, 2020

Russia suffered its first coronavirus death on March 19 when a 79-year-old woman passed away. Officially there are only 199 cases in Russia.

Baltic states roll out fiscal measures to prop up coronavirus-stricken economies

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw March 19, 2020

The pandemic is expected to push Baltic GDP growth below zero this year, an effect of choked domestic demand and spillovers from abroad.

Uzbekistan's Karimova imprisoned for 13 years in new extortion and embezzlement case

bne IntelIiNews March 19, 2020

Ex-president's daughter illegally purchased state shares in two cement plants and sold them to foreign business people prosecutors say.

Turkey introduces TRY100bn package to help economy hit by virus

bne IntelIiNews March 18, 2020

Debt payments postponed, tax burdens cut and aviation and tourism supported. On same day, Toyota Turkey announces production suspension.

Kosovo’s new government already on the rocks

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 18, 2020

Coalition in crisis after PM Albin Kurti’s decision to sack dismisses interior minister for "spreading panic" over coronavirus sparks no-confidence motion.

UK ‘pressing US to ease Iran sanctions to help fight coronavirus’

bne IntelIiNews March 18, 2020

No sign as yet of Trump administration relenting. Reports say it may veto Iranian application to IMF for $5bn of emergency funding.

Poland announces €47bn programme to support economy in wake of coronavirus outbreak

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw March 18, 2020

The government is reacting to the expected overwhelming impact that the outbreak is nearly certain to have on Poland’s economy in the months to come. Most analysts predict the country’s GDP growth to ease to no more than 2% in 2020 from 4% last year.

Ford, Dacia car factories in Romania suspend production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 18, 2020

Romania's two main automakers will suspend their operations at least until April 5 as European car markets are hammered by the pandemic.

Hungarian researchers isolate coronavirus

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest March 18, 2020

Researchers at Hungary’s National Centre for Public Health successfully isolated the new coronavirus, a breakthrough that will allow scientists to begin developing a vaccine against the virus.

Turkey brings in surprise 100bp rate cut and additional cheaper liquidity in coronavirus fight

bne IntelIiNews March 17, 2020

Analyst sees set of announced measures as “stronger than” a cut in borrowing costs. Lira, however, is at its weakest since currency crisis and strategists see it as set to come under even more pressure.

Coronavirus now present in all Central, Southeast Europe countries as Montenegro confirms first cases

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

Montenegro is the last country in the Central and Southeast Europe region to report a coronavirus outbreak. The virus is now present in countries across the region and continues to spread despite governments’ efforts to contain it.