Turkey Insight: Not weak at the knees yet? Credit default swaps just hit 520

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 24, 2019

Global markets are pricing in a Turkish default. The Erdogan administration is fixated on its pre-election stimulus and flattering Trump. The IMF says it ain’t had a call. And the IIF quite frankly is saying WTF?

COMMENT: Russia keeps accumulating foreign assets, sales of OFZ bonds driving exchange rate

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING May 21, 2019

April balance of payments confirms the corporate preference to convert export proceeds into international assets, making foreign inflows into local state bonds the only support factor for the ruble exchange rate

MACRO ADVISORY: Uzbekistan Terraforming: Privatization is the next stage

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory  May 20, 2019

Since the election of Shavkat Mirziyoyev in December 2016, Uzbekistan has been on a fast-track programme to transform what was, for the previous 25 years, a no-go investment zone. Privatisation is the next step.

COMMENT: Russian offshore? Not so fast...

Polina Lyadnova and Matthew Fisher of Cleary Gottlieb May 20, 2019

The two offshore zones established in Russia last August for the purposes of tempting foreign-based Russian businesses back to the Motherland have yet to catch on.

COMMENT: Russia’s GDP growth slows in 1Q19, challenging the policy framework

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING May 20, 2019

Russian GDP growth slowed from 2.7% year on year in 4Q18 to just 0.5% y/y in 1Q19, well below expectations. Unlike most commentators, we attribute this slowdown to a pause in the state CAPEX rather than to the VAT hike.

COMMENT: Russia's controversial sovereign internet bill will stoke the very protests it is designed to quell

Lindsay Mackenzie in Glasgow May 13, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 1 signed the controversial sovereign internet bill into law. It will come into force November 1 despite the concern, confusion and even ridicule on show during its State Duma readings.

COMMENT: Technology can reduce the global plastic pollution problem

Calin Corjan in Montreal May 13, 2019

Annual global production of plastics has increased dramatically, from 15mn metric tons in 1964 to over 350mn metric tons now, however, a new technology can break down polymers and effectively recycle them

ANALYSIS: Trump offers talks after parking B-52s and aircraft carrier on Iran’s doorstep. Spot the “rogue nation”

bne IntelliNews May 10, 2019

Revolutionary Guard says no negotiations will be held with “unreliable Americans”. Adds US “will not dare take military action against us”.

COLCHIS: Zelenskiy faces tough choices amidst high expectations

Maryna Vorotnyuk of the Eurasia Democratic Security Network May 8, 2019

Zelenskiy is allegedly supported by powerful Ukrainian oligarch and Poroshenko’s arch-rival Igor Kolomoyskiy. Ukrainian voters obviously believed that Zelenskiy was the lesser of two evils. What went into making that choice?

COMMENT: Chinese engagement in CESEE: paper dragons and false inevitabilities?

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna, Marcus How of Vienneast in Vienna May 3, 2019

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is no less than an attempt by the Chinese to reshape the international order, but it has acted as a strategic opportunist and has no clear development plan.

Bank of Russia guides for first rate cut as soon as 2-3Q

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING April 26, 2019

Russia's CBR kept its key rate at 7.75% and provided dovish mid-term guidance that suggests a rate cut in the second or third quarters of this year

COMMENT: After the Ukrainian presidential elections: Anything is possible and nothing is certain

Maya Janik of Dialogue of the Civilisations in Berlin April 26, 2019

Ukraine’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been on the job less than a week and he is already been tested by Russia and a new language law, but the biggest challenge remains winning seats in the October parliamentary elections

COMMENT: CEE Fintech Atlas: Old narratives are changing, innovations may flow now from East to West

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna April 25, 2019

After nearly three decades since the end of the socialist experiment many countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have made enormous progress, but they are still catching up to their western peers. But not in fintech.

COLCHIS: Media Sustainability in Eurasia: What does the Data Say?

Ashwed Patil of Keshif April 25, 2019

Southeast Europe enjoys a largely free and vibrant press, but an index developed by consultant Keshif shows that the press is coming under pressure and diversity and quality are slipping.