Serbia to end state of emergency, hold general election

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 5, 2020

Serbia had one of Southeast Europe's biggest COVID-19 outbreaks but the number of new cases has been falling after Belgrade imposed a strict lockdown.

Intrigue in Kazakhstan as Nazarbayeva’s successor as speaker of parliament announced

bne IntelIiNews May 5, 2020

Naming of deputy chief of presidential administration gives no clear indication a power struggle is under way.

Armenia ends lockdown even as COVID cases spiking

Ani Mejlumyan for Eurasianet May 5, 2020

Armenians are now able to go back to (open-air) bars and restaurants, and all factories are allowed to reopen.

Capital outflows from EMs reverse in April to modest gains

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2020

The torrent of capital fleeing Emerging Markets (EMs) securities has stopped and these markets saw a modest inflow in April, reported the Institute of International Finance (IIF) on May 4.

Poland signs contract with Italy’s Saipem to lay Baltic Pipe

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 4, 2020

The €2.1bn Baltic Pipe will carry gas from the Norwegian Sea via Denmark to Poland, starting in 2022. Poland needs the pipeline to reduce its dependence on Russian gas imports.

“Sobering” PMI score for Turkish manufacturing in April

bne IntelIiNews May 4, 2020

Steepest slowdown since global financial crisis as pandemic disruption takes terrible toll and lira weakness pushes up input prices. Index reading falls to 33.4 from 48.1 in March.

Details emerge of claimed cement plants corruption by Uzbekistan's disgraced Karimova

bne IntelIiNews May 3, 2020

Daughter of late long-ruling autocrat was accused of using threats to coerce owners to hand over companies. Affair eventually produced damages claim against Tashkent from investors in Kazakhstan’s Visor group.

Kosovo political crisis deepens as highest court suspends decree on new PM designate

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 3, 2020

MEPs urged Kosovo’s politicians not to use the global coronavirus pandemic for political maneuvering “that would damage the country, its reputation and the path to democracy and freedom.”

Wizz Air restarts flights from Budapest

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest May 3, 2020

The no-frills airline will require all passengers as well as crew to wear masks on Budapest flights, but it has not taken any decision yet on keeping middle seats empty.

Protests as support for lockdowns starts to fray

bne IntelliNews May 2, 2020

Thousands of people joined bicycle protests in Slovenia, accusing the government of curtailing civil liberties during the lockdown. Elsewhere in the region, citizens are using "pots and pans" protests to show their discontent.

Iran plans $19bn stock market boost with release of “Justice Shares”

bne IntelIiNews May 1, 2020

Equity was issued to low-income households more than a decade ago. Tehran Stock Exchange is enjoying a bull market.

Russia passes law naming 1,151 strategic companies

Ben Aris in Berlin April 30, 2020

Russia’s Duma passed a law naming 1,151 companies as “strategic” that will entitle them to state help during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

COVID-19 impact leads to unprecedented declines in Russia’s manufacturing PMI

Ben Aris in Berlin April 30, 2020

No surprise here. The coronavirus epidemic caused an unprecedented collapse of the IHS Markit Russia Manufacturing Purchasing Index (PMI) in March.

Western Balkans’ regional GDP to slump by as much as 5.6% this year

bne IntelliNews April 30, 2020

World Bank forecasts all six Western Balkan countries will experience negative growth this year as they grapple with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Czech Republic facing its worst drought in past 500 years

bne IntelliNews April 29, 2020

Environment Minister Richard Brabec says drought has affected 80% of the country's groundwater sources due to a combination of low precipitation and rising temperatures.

Rushed PPE procurement leads to rash of corruption scandals

bne IntelliNews April 29, 2020

The pressure to secure supplies of personal protective equipment, ventilators and other equipment for hospitals as the coronavirus pandemic spreads has opened up new opportunities for corruption.

Mongolia scraps $3bn IPO for shares in flagship coal mine

bne IntelIiNews April 29, 2020

Decision made amid pandemic disruption to financial markets and with one eye on vote-shifting distrust of foreign investors ahead of elections.

Daimler and Audi restart production in Hungary

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest April 29, 2020

Vehicle production is a significant sector of the Hungarian economy, accounting for more than 25% of industrial production and 5% of the country's GDP.

Four banks in Azerbaijan go under administration as pandemic and oil crisis impacts hit home

bne IntelIiNews April 28, 2020

Move said to affect 7.3bn manats ($4.3bn) of deposits and protect interests of 8.3mn people. Economist claims woes rooted in systemic problems.

Russian real estate company's assets frozen by Cypriot court

Ben Aris in Berlin April 28, 2020

The District Court of Nicosia issued a freezing order on January 7, against Russian real estate company Surmena Enterprises Company Limited, as part of a legal fight by a former shareholder to recover a €62mn arbitration award.