US Congress publishes new watered down version of the “crushing” DASKA sanctions

bne IntelliNews February 27, 2019

Congress has published a new version of the draft bipartisan bill of proposed “crushing” sanctions on Russia, the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA). This was the first time the text of the bill was made public.

Gazprom expects the considerable rise in LNG production this year to be matched by an increase in gas consumption

Ben Aris in Berlin February 27, 2019

The state-owned Russian gas giant expects the new LNG volumes will go to the premium Asian markets.

UPDATED: Poroshenko's team hit by defence industry corruption scandal, Tymoshenko starts impeachment process

bne IntelliNews February 27, 2019

President Petro Poroshenko rivals in the upcoming presidential election are accusing him of “profiting from blood” after an investigation revealed that the son of the president’s close business partner has been selling arms to separatist rebels

Iran’s reformists fight to hold on to Zarif

Will Conroy in Prague February 26, 2019

If foreign minister’s shock resignation is accepted domino effect could put hardliners back at helm of diplomacy, playing into hands of US hawks.

Trouble down the road? Warnings grow as Turkey sells more FX debt

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 26, 2019

Heavy borrowing abroad may cause serious economic boomerang after end-of-March local elections say critics.

Suicide of Coca Cola Turkmenistan boss may further demoralise investors

Kanat Shaku in Almaty February 26, 2019

Company facing difficulties amid remote nation’s economic woes. Executive reportedly threw himself from window of top Ashgabat hotel.

Kazakh president appoints new prime minister

bne IntelliNews February 26, 2019

Move follows abrupt firing of cabinet for failing to improve living standards and lack of progress in diversifying economy away from dependence on oil exports.

Poland’s PiS offers multi-billion spending stimulus in election year

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw February 26, 2019

The move seems to be a direct reaction to the recent consolidation of the opposition parties that have formed a so-called European Coalition to run against PiS in the European election in May.

Moldova’s president talks of dissolving newly elected parliament

bne IntelliNews February 26, 2019

The vote on February 24 delivered a divided parliament, with neither President Igor Dodon’s Socialists nor the rival Democratic Party close to forming a majority.

Iranian foreign minister Zarif suddenly quits

bne IntelliNews February 25, 2019

Shock move will raise fears Iran is set to exit nuclear deal.

Turkcell obtains $150mn syndicated loan as analysts warn of tougher year

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 25, 2019

Markets also digest report that Turkey’s largest NPL management firm expects far brisker sales from banks hit by corporate-debt surge.

Moody's mentions “unorganised regime change” for the first time in Russian ratings note.

Ben Aris in Berlin February 25, 2019

Moody’s agency analysts noted the growing dissatisfaction of Russians with the political system and possible problems with the transfer of power due to “Putin’s dominance” when (if) he steps down in 2024 as the Constitution demands.

Hard to conclude otherwise? Report paints oligarch Ivanishvili as Georgia’s de facto ruler

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest and Will Conroy in Prague February 25, 2019

Links claimed in resignation of PM, victory of president, TBC Bank controversy, big real estate wins and broadcaster appointments.

Mass protests in Serbia, Montenegro push for resignation of long-time leaders

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 24, 2019

Series of protests has provoked some to suggest that a ‘Balkan spring’ is arising and, leading to possible longer-term unrest in the fragile Western Balkans.

Turk Telekom sells $500mn 6-year eurobonds at 6.875% coupon rate

bne IntelliNews February 22, 2019

Turkey’s largest telco Turk Telekom has sold $500mn worth of 6-year eurobonds at a coupon rate of 6.875% and a re-offer price of 99.396%, the company said on late February 21 in a bourse filing.

Has Turkey equity market recovery rally run its course?

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 22, 2019

VTB Capital downgraded Turkish equities to equal weight from overweight in emerging markets although it is still relatively more upbeat on banks than non-financials in Turkey portfolios, Akin Tuzun of the Russian investment bank said on February 19 i

Slovakians commemorate murder of assassinated investigative journalist Kuciak

bne IntelliNews February 22, 2019

Slovakia commemorated the first anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova who were assassinated a year ago on February 21.

Tymoshenko out of Ukraine top-two presidential candidates, new poll says

bne IntelliNews February 22, 2019

Ukrainian ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko is loosing public support ahead of the March presidential elections and after taking an early lead has now fallen out of the top two, according to the results of a poll conducted by Kyiv-based Razumkov Center in Febru

Kazakh president sacks cabinet

bne IntelliNews February 21, 2019

Nursultan Nazarbayev blames the government for failing to reduce the Kazakh economy’s over-reliance on commodities exports, and promises social programmes to support ordinary citizens.

Russia gets a second female billionaire

Ben Aris in Berlin February 21, 2019

Moscow has more billionaires per square kilometre than any other city in Europe, but they are almost all men. Almost. But not quite. Tatyana Bakalchuk is the owner and founder of e-commerce leader WIldberries and is now worth $1bn, says Forbes.