ZapSib cushions the blow of the coronavirus crisis to Sibur’s 1Q20 results

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Leading Russian petrochemical company Sibur's revenues were down 7.8% year on year due to falling prices in ruble terms caused by the current economic crisis, but the newly completed ZapSib facility has cushioned the blow.

Russia’s Duma passes a law to allow remote voting in referendum on constitutional changes

bne IntelIiNews May 14, 2020

Russia’s Duma passes a law to allow remote voting in referendum on constitutional changes

Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund ready to start mass production of anti-COVID-19 drug

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, is ready to start the mass production of a drug it claims is effective in the treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Critics fear Hungarian government's bill on special economic zones will hurt opposition local governments

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 14, 2020

Special economic zones will help relaunch the economy, preserve and create new jobs, according to the bill. Opponents say it will allow Fidesz-leaning political bodies to allocate resources on the basis of political affiliation.

Russia's Sberbank income collapses, plunging by 85%, return on equity down to 3% in April, RAS results show

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Russia's largest bank Sberbank reported net income of RUB11.5bn ($155mn) in April 2020, plunging by 85% year on year and 81% month on month, making a return on equity (ROE) of only 3%, the lowest since 2015.

Moldova considers issuing first Eurobonds since 1997

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 14, 2020

Chisinau to use funds raised for infrastructure projects after $200mn loan offered by Russia was blocked by the Constitutional Court.

Czech-Slovak billionaires Kretinsky and Tkac become fourth-largest shareholders in US Macy's

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2020

Investors might consider acquiring additional stakes if the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic that which forced the retail chain to close its stores causes a further fall in the share price.

Bar high to Fed swap line for Turkey but Trump could weigh in says former top central banker

bne IntelIiNews May 13, 2020

“I’m fairly sure that we will end up there eventually,” says academic in response to prospect of IMF bailout or capital controls.

Priests' arrests cause clashes in Montenegro

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 13, 2020

Arrests made after thousands of Montenegrins attended a religious procession in violation of a ban on gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Russian diamond sales lose their sparkle as Alrosa's drop 95%

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

Sales of rough and polished diamonds almost totally halted in April but Alrosa expects to see an upward trend in demand as early as in the beginning of 3Q20.

UPDATED: Belarus central bank cuts key rate to 8%

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

The National Bank of Belarus (NBB) will cut its refinancing rate from the current level of 8.75% per annum to 8% from May 20, the regulator said in statement on May 13.

Forex and gold prices skyrocket in Iran

bne IntelIiNews May 13, 2020

With government warning of “perilous conditions” for economy, dollar hits strongest rate against rial in 22 months.

Belarus under international fire for crackdown on journalists

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

OSCE official denounced the detention and imprisonment of journalists, including freelancers, in authoritarian Belarus over the last few days.

Ukraine parliament adopts IMF-demanded banking law

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2020

Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has adopted the so-called anti-Kolomoisky bank law in a final reading on May 13 that bans the return of failed banks to their former shareholders and clears the way for Kyiv to sign off on a new IMF deal.

Russian internet guru Pavel Durov cancels the TON blockchain project

Ben Aris in Berlin May 13, 2020

Internet guru and owner of the Telegram message service Pavel Durov has halted his TON blockchain project and may have to return the $1.7bn he raised in the largest ever ICO to fund the project.

Political battle puts smooth relaxation of lockdown at risk in Romania

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 13, 2020

Romania prepares to ease lockdown to “state of alert” but opposition parties block law setting new regulations on containment and social distancing.

Turkey steps up import compression and capital control efforts

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 12, 2020

Critic says Erdogan’s cajoling to keep rates low has caused investors to dump lira. With FX reserves sinking, back-door ways to lift currency, such as by squeezing trade, will be needed, but will shred central bank's remaining credibility, they add.

Press freedom watchdog calls on Turkey to revise regulation that ‘threatens financial reporting’

bne IntelIiNews May 12, 2020

Academics say directive may prompt journalists to self-censor for fear of being fined.

Russian government adopts a third economic stimulus package, calls for rescue plans by June 1

bne IntelliNews May 12, 2020

Russia's economy will shrink by at least 5% this year. The Kremlin needs to spend more to shorten the duration of the subsequent recession and has just introduced a third stimulus package.

Poland’s ruling coalition tables new law to enable presidential election during pandemic

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 12, 2020

Attention now shifts to the summer vote, for which the incumbent President Andrzej Duda will have to campaign during an unprecedented economic crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.