COMMENT: Improving sentiment in global markets amidst uncertainty

Peter Hakansson Chairman and chief investment officer of East Capital October 23, 2020

The global economic recovery continued throughout the quarter, and the OECD now expects world GDP for 2020 to contract by only 4.5%, compared with 6% in their previous forecast from June. Equity markets have done better than expected.

COLCHIS: Georgia’s Karabakh conundrum

Alexander Scrivener of the Eurasia Democratic Security Network October 22, 2020

As the death toll mounts among both Armenians and Azeris in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the situation in nearby Georgia feels a million miles away. In the throes of both a parliamentary election and a growing Covid-19 epidemic, the fact

FPRI BMB Ukraine: KIIS’ survey of Ukraine’s perceptions of parties and politicians

FPRI BMB Ukraine October 22, 2020

From October 8–15, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted a nationwide poll asking Ukrainians about the state of the country and their perceptions of its parties and politicians.

STOLYPIN: If Lavrov goes, can we hope for better from Russia’s diminished foreign ministry?

Mark Galeotti director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence and also an honorary professor at UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies October 22, 2020

Is Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s time really up? And if so, will this free the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) from the last vestiges of diplomacy, or allow it to regain some of the relevance it has lost since 2014?

COMMENT: What did Hunter Biden do in Ukraine and why was he hired?

Robert Homans in Washington DC October 20, 2020

Why, specifically, in the early part of 2014 not long after the end of the Revolution of Dignity, was Hunter Biden asked to join the Burisma board of directors? Why did Burisma retain the services of Boies Schiller, and what did Boies Schiller do?

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Zelenskiy launches poll ahead of regional elections in controversial move that captures news agenda

FPRI BMB Ukraine October 15, 2020

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced on October 14 plans to conduct a five-question poll during the upcoming elections on October 25. Unlike a referendum, the results of this poll will not be legally binding.

ING: Drop in Russian foreign debt confirms improvement in the capital outflow structure

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow October 14, 2020

Russian banks and other corporates reduced foreign debt by $11bn in 3Q20 after a similar spike in 2Q20. The swings here could be technical, but the 3Q20 drop confirms that the private capital outflow unrelated to foreign debt seems to have stabilised

COMMENT: Uzbekistan's third renaissance

Fiezullah Saidov in Tashkent October 14, 2020

On the eve of the 29th anniversary of independence of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan, laid out his vision for the country. He is hoping to oversee the country's third renaissance

ING: Russia’s balance of payments improves slightly in 3Q20, but risks to RUB remain high

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow October 12, 2020

In 3Q20, the current account improved, while private capital outflow slowed, which is a promising sign for the ruble in 4Q20. We continue to hope for the return to $RUB70-75 in the medium term. But uncertainty remains high.

Assassination attempt made on ex-Kyrgyz president as mob backing rival attack rally

bne IntelIiNews October 9, 2020

Amid latest chaos in Kyrgyzstan’s power vacuum, president in hiding declares state of emergency and orders army on to the streets.

ING: Russia’s higher FX intervention in October may increase RUB resilience

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow October 9, 2020

In October, total FX sales will reach a four-month high of $2.4bn, some $0.4bn more than expected because of the undercollection in fuel revenues in September. It seems foreign politics has played a smaller role in the RUB's recent weakness than mos

ING: Russia’s CPI keeps edging up, helped by RUB weakness

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow October 7, 2020

Russian inflation keeps accelerating on a combination of cost, demand and technical factors. While we continue to see 2021 CPI risks as limited, the upward price pressure is likely to persist in the near term due to grain price growth and weak RUB.

Belarus is the template for Bishkek’s rapid revolution

bne IntelliNews October 7, 2020

After only two days it seems that the Kyrgyzstanis have already moved beyond the Belarusians, who will now look to Bishkek for inspiration in the post-Lukashenko period, if they get that far.

EEU riven by instability from Bishkek to Belarus

Ben Aris in Berlin October 6, 2020

What’s wrong with the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU), the economic block set up by Russia that is a copy of the EU and was supposed to promote stability and prosperity throughout the Eurasian landmass?

AFC CAPITAL: Uzbekistan’s “Golden Cross”

Scott Osheroff in Singapore October 6, 2020

A series of deep cuts to the central bank's key interest rate has brought rates to below the dividend yields of stocks on the Tashkent Exchange. That usuauly means the market is about to dramatically re-rate

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Fokin sacked as Ukraine’s representative to Trilateral Contact Group on Donbass

FPRI BMB Ukraine October 5, 2020

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy dismissed on September 30 Vitold Fokin from his position of deputy head of Ukraine’s delegation to the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), the main negotiation platform on the Donbass conflict

FPRI BMB Russia: the ruble continues to tank

FPRI BMB Russia September 30, 2020

The ruble has had a bad few weeks that have only got worse in the past couple of days. Yesterday, the ruble fell to 92 rubles to the euro for the first time since January 2016. The ruble exchange rate with the dollar almost reached 80.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Mystery on the bourse as traders ask "Who bought the banks?"

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 27, 2020

Finding some sure footing on the Turkish stock exchange is far easier said than done with officials up to no good with neverending perception management.

COMMENT: Don’t disregard potential for Armenia and Azerbaijan’s war to spiral into something much bigger

bne IntelIiNews September 27, 2020

Should Turkey militarily enter the conflict on Baku’s side and Russia come to the armed defence of Yerevan, things could get very scary indeed.