Features

Georgia sets out to wow China with Black Sea trade nexus dream

Emil Avdaliani in Tbilisi March 20, 2019

Progress in delivering Anaklia Deep Sea Port and other big investments could make small nation indispensable to Belt and Road infrastructure plans.

Law enforcement agencies take sides as election tensions rise in Ukraine

Graham Stack in Berlin March 20, 2019

One of the key players in Ukraine's presidential election is a businessman and politician who is not himself running for office: Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who supervises the national police, and sympathises with the opposition.

Nazarbayev steps down after three decades as president

Nizom Khodjayev in Astana March 19, 2019

Matters have been arranged, however, to ensure the septuagenarian remains the power behind the Kazakh throne.

Russia's OFZ bond market is under the sword of sanctions

Peter Simon in New York, Carlos Singer in New York March 19, 2019

Heavily overweight in the ruble-denominated state treasury bonds, traders dumped RUB500bn worth of these so-called OFZ last year afraid the US government was going to ban trading and even ownership of the government's workhorse bond

VOX: Russia’s economy is sick but the pharmaceutical sector is healthy

Ben Aris in Berlin March 18, 2019

Russia's pharmaceutical sector is growing fast, but the country remains very dependent on imports as domestic pharmaceutical production is underdeveloped. bne IntelliNews talks to Andrey Osipov, CEO of Santnes, about the business.

Ukraine's banks are back in profit but high NPLs and interest rates are crushing the business

Ben Aris in Berlin March 14, 2019

Banks remain hobbled by the crushing weight of their non-performing loans and steep interest rates left over from the country's economic collapse in 2015.

Goodbye, blue sky?

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest and Will Conroy in Prague. March 12, 2019

Georgia’s reputation as a good place to do business is under pressure. Intrigue surrounding TBC Bank and an attack on officials by a business chamber are worrying investors.

Uncertainty in Russia’s residential real estate about to end and boost the sector’s growth

Ben Aris in Berlin March 10, 2019

Russia’s residential real estate market is flourishing, but changes in the regulations have caused uncertainty, which has held down the share value of the leading developers. That should start to change this summer.

Electric vehicles still in the slow lane in CEE

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 8, 2019

After a slow 2018 that saw the EU fall behind the US, EV sales are expected to revive in the EU as new models come on the market in the next few years, but the eastern part of the bloc remains far behind frontrunners like Sweden.

Poroshenko ambushed over defence sector corruption

Graham Stack in Berlin March 7, 2019

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko’s embattled re-election campaign is in trouble after his partner Oleh Hladkovskiy is implicated in a dodgy arms deals scandal

New Europe’s central banks are caught between fighting inflation rock and growth-boosting rate cuts hard place

Ben Aris in Berlin March 6, 2019

Emerging market central banks switched from tightening into easing mode in February, taking their cue from a dovish turn at the US Federal Reserve and a dollar rally that has run out of steam, for now.

Nearly all the countries of Eastern Europe made progress in improving the rule of law

bne IntelliNews March 6, 2019

World Justice Project's annual rule of law index shows improvements, but drilling into the subfactors big disparities persist.

Wealthy Russians are conservative investors, study shows

bne IntelliNews March 6, 2019

Wealthy Russians are conservative investors, with over half of their investment assets accounting for fixed income instruments versus the global average of 37%, the Wealth Report 2019 compiled by Knight Frank shows.

Fraud accusations become campaign tool in Ukraine’s presidential election

Fabrice Deprez in Yuzhne March 6, 2019

All the essential elements of a typical Tymoshenko rally were present in Yuzhne on February 21, a small city 40km east of Odessa. There was the rant against president Petro Poroshenko as well as the complaining about the rise of energy prices. She di

Mortgages have exploded in Russia but now Putin wants the rate under 8%

Ben Aris in Berlin March 4, 2019

The volume of housing loans has been doubling every two years for a decade. The government is keen to get people into their own homes and just launched a raft of new initiatives to make mortgages cheaper.

Russia's goods trade surplus up 20% in 2018 to $212bn

Ben Aris in Berlin March 2, 2019

Russian customs reports that in 2018 the country’s goods trade surplus climbed to $212bn, or roughly 12% of GDP. Russia is now running a triple surplus again for the first time in years: trade, current account and federal budget.

Tide turns against hydropower investment in the Balkans

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow February 28, 2019

Hundreds of new hydropower projects are planned in the Western Balkans, as investors sought to take advantage of the huge and relatively untapped water resources in the region, but public sentiment is turning against such investments.

Russian government still hot on blockchain and cryptocurrencies for the financial sector as a digital law takes shape

Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow February 27, 2019

The hype surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrencies is subsiding, but the Russian authorities are still hot on using the technology and digital assets in the country's financial system.

Danske Bank laundered money for Ukrainian arms traffickers in North Korea and Iran

Graham Stack in Berlin February 24, 2019

Danske Bank, currently at the centre of a $240bn Russian money laundering scandal, laundered money for the Ukrainian arms mafia’s sanctions-busting activities in North Korea and Iran as early as 2009, bne IntelliNews can reveal.

INTERVIEW: ITI Funds democratising the asset management business

Ben Aris in Berlin February 24, 2019

ITI Funds has set up five platforms – three in Luxembourg and two in the Cayman Islands – that dramatically reduce the cost of entry to the fund management business.

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