INTERVIEW: “The weekend’s protests were the Russian people's, not the opposition’s” – Maxim Reznik
Western Balkans citizens legally resident in EU equal to 14% of region’s population
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home
@russian_market sacked by UBS for supporting Navalny
Elbrus Capital attracts major international players to invest in the Russian digital sphere
Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden have first phone call, extend START II treaty for five years
ING: Russian budget’s modest deficit leaves fiscal room for 2021
Public support is collapsing for The People’s Servant Party
Ukraine’s industrial output jumped 4.8% y/y in December
State-owned Ukrgasbank signs off on convertible €30mn IFC loan ahead of its privatisation
National Bank of Ukraine retains a key policy rate at 6%, the outlook of the CPI deteriorates
Estonia's two big parties agree on grand coalition
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
Czech billionaire Kellner´s PPF makes another bid for Moneta Money Bank
Czech MPs pass protectionist food law in violation of EU rules
M&A in Central and Eastern Europe fell 16% in value in 2020, says CMS report
Hungarian vehicle makers hit by supply chain shortage
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Polish parcel locker operator InPost soars in Euronext Amsterdam debut
Polish industrial production continues boom in December
OUTLOOK 2021 Poland
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
BALKAN BLOG: Only better waste management can clean rivers of trash
Pandemic pushes public debt close to 80% of GDP in Albania and Montenegro
BALKAN BLOG: Superstition and resentment surround vaccination plans
Albania needs reforms for e-commerce to thrive, says World Bank
Bosnia's exports in 2020 amounted to BAM10.5bn, trade deficit to BAM6.3bn
Bulgaria’s latest nuclear u-turn
Retailers and restaurant owners threaten protests in Bulgaria if reopening is delayed
Bulgaria's Biodit first company to IPO on new BEAM market
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Kosovo’s biggest opposition party risks being unable to run in general election
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Montenegro’s special prosecution probes finance minister over €750mn Eurobond issue
North Macedonia’s state-owned loss-makers await new owners
North Macedonia plans to cut personal income tax in IT sector to zero in 2023
Romanian cybersecurity company Safetech floats shares amid rising investor interest
Romania government to pursue “ambitious” timetable for justice reforms
Private finance mobilised by development banks up 9% to $175bn in 2019
EBRD and WBIF support fast broadband in rural Serbia
Slovenia plans region's longest-tenor Eurobond
Slovenian crypto payment system enters Thai market
Slovenia’s economic sentiment indicator up 2.2 pp m/m in January
Slovenia lost €10bn by neglecting wood industry for decades
D’S Damat franchise deals ‘show Turkey’s hard-pressed mall operators becoming their own tenants’
Turkey’s benchmark rate held as concerns over faltering recovery come to fore
Turkish lira breaches HSBC’s stop-loss, Turkey ETF signalling outflows
Following war with Armenia, Azerbaijan gains control of lucrative gold mines
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Azerbaijan
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
“Try me” not telecoms minister Iran’s president tells hardliners in internet row
Iran’s President Khamenei menaces private citizen Trump
Iran’s technology minister indicted for failing to properly implement internet censorship
No US move to rejoin Iran nuclear deal imminent, say Biden national security nominees
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
COMMENT: Mongolia is an island of democracy
OUTLOOK 2021 Mongolia
Mongolia's PM quits amid protests over treatment of mother with coronavirus and newborn baby
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Tajikistan: Writing for the president is on the wall (and then scrubbed off)
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
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Wizz Air sold €500mn worth of three-year bonds at an interest rate of just 1.35% on January 13 after receiving more than €2bn of orders from investors, business news site Portfolio reported. The Budapest-based low-cost airline announced plans to launch a €3bn bond program in August, but the issue was delayed by the pandemic.
The deal underscores robust demand in credit markets even in deeply-troubled sectors such as the airline industry.
Fitch Ratings affirmed Wizz Air’s rating at a junk rating of 'BBB-' with a negative outlook in November. The slower-than-expected recovery of the airline industry is offset by Wizz Air’s fleet growth plans, flexibility and strong liquidity, it said.
Wizz Air’s cash reserve of €1.6bn would allow it to survive for the next two years even if its planes were grounded, CEO Jozsef Varadi said earlier. Varadi has spoken out against governments providing lifeline to companies in the industry.
Wizz Air has pursued an aggressive expansion strategy during the pandemic, capitalizing on its strong liquidity. It opened a number of new bases in Europe.
Analysts expect Wizz Air's recovery to be faster than that of the sector, due to the company's low-cost position, short-haul flights, flexibility in route management and favourable customer base. Wizz Air operates with one of the best cost ratios in the industry and has followed Ryanair’s model of keeping both costs and ticket prices low.
Wizz Air passenger numbers slumped by 80% y/y in December to 665,722, against more than 3.3 million in the base period. The load factor fell by 33.3pp to 56.1% as capacity was cut by 68% to 1.18mn seats, according to recent data from the company.
CEE's leading airline did not give guidance for its fiscal year 2021 due to the uncertainty of the current situation. The airline closed 2019-2020 with a profit of €281mn on €2.76bn revenue.
The World Bank is to provide $300mn (€248.4mn) in funding to help Turkey’s organised industrial zones (OIZs) become more efficient, environmentally sustainable and competitive.
Slovenia successfully placed a new 60-year Eurobond issue worth €500mn with a coupon rate of 0.6875% on January 27, the finance ministry said.
The ... more
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has organised a financing package of $4mn for Tajikistan’s largest private lender Bank Eskhata via its Green ... more
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