Russian banks earn strongest profits in five years over 4M21

bne IntelliNews May 30, 2021

The Russian banking sector is having its most profitable year in the last five years. It has continued to follow the course of 2019, the first year of strong growth since 2014, and the outlook is rosy.

Game development moves up a level in Romania

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 29, 2021

The big international game developers are stepping up their operations in Romania where they sit alongside local indie firms that have already scored some solid successes.

The challenge of wooing tourists back to the Adriatic

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 27, 2021

The tourism-dependent economies of Albania, Croatia and Montenegro want to convince tourists they will be safe on the sunny shores of the Adriatic.

Nexta: Belarus’ revolution by committee

Ben Aris in Berlin May 25, 2021

The Belarusian protest movement is being led in part by a private chat group that editors of Belarus’ dozen leading Telegram channels belong to. Nexta, and its former editor Roman Protasevich, is the most important.

Russian business confidence index rises to zero for the first time in eight years

Ben Aris in Berlin May 24, 2021

Russian business confidence index rises to zero for the first time since 2012, when the index briefly went positive for seven months in a row for the first time ever.

Lenta planning more acquisitions in the region as supermarket consolidation continues

Ben Aris in Berlin May 23, 2021

Top five Russian retailer Lenta bought smaller rival Billa on May 19 in a bid to strengthen its position in the two leading markets of Moscow and St Petersburg as Russia’s organised retail sector starts to rapidly consolidate.

bneGREEN: The EU’s Green Deal: Putting a carbon price on imports

Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh May 22, 2021

The EU’s journey to net zero threatens a carbon price war with its trading partners

Bucharest Stock Exchange sets new records as it shrugs off the coronacrisis

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 21, 2021

The Bucharest Stock Exchange’s main index BET has soared past its peak before the last crisis, while there has been intense activity on AeRO, the dedicated market for smaller companies.

bneGREEN World needs immediate and massive deployment of green tech to fight climate change

Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh May 19, 2021

World needs immediate and massive deployment of green tech to fight climate change, warns IEA in its latest report.

Roses left to wither in Bulgaria as rose oil market collapses

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 18, 2021

Bulgarian rose oil is sought after by luxury perfumers but as the price has slumped many farmers in the Rose Valley will leave their blooms unharvested this year.

bneGREEN: Global warming will open up Russia’s Far North to agriculture over next two decades

bne IntelliNews May 17, 2021

The global climate crisis has a silver lining for Russia at least. Over the next two or three decades large swathes of Russia’s frozen northern regions will become warm enough to grow crops.

China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway: Who is going to pay?

Chris Rickleton for Eurasianet May 17, 2021

Kyrgyzstan is flogging its section of the would-be track, but how successfully?

Tourism’s long road to recovery

bne IntelliNews May 17, 2021

The collapse of tourism in 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was unprecedented. Several countries in New Europe are heavily dependent on tourism to earn foreign exchange and a full recovery could take two more years.

DATACRUNCH: the bne car ownership/age index

bne IntelliNews May 16, 2021

bne IntelliNews has introduced a new index, the bne Car Ownership/Age index (bneCOR), that cuts through the contradictions and paints a much clearer picture of just how far the middle class has come in each country.

Money laundering pushes up property prices in Western Balkan cities

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow May 15, 2021

Real estate and construction sectors are being used to launder illicit money from the drugs trade and migrant trafficking, leading to a hike in prices, says Global Initiative report.

LONG READ: The first thing the emerging middle classes of New Europe do is buy a better car

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2021

A middle class is emerging in New Europe but to get a handle on how far the process has gone and what the differences are between each country bne IntelliNews took a look at the icon of middle-class status: car ownership.

Russia’s oil and gas reserves will last for another 59 and 103 years respectively, says natural resources minister

bne IntelliNews May 14, 2021

Russia has enough extractable oil still in the ground to maintain production for another 59 years and gas reserves that can be exploited for another 103 years.

Mongolia’s apocalyptic sandstorms

Antonio Graceffo May 12, 2021

Herders tell how most ferocious storms in a decade stripped paint from cars, left hundreds of people missing and killed huge numbers of livestock. But there’s a limit to what can be done about the terrifying phenomenon.

Central Europe joins the EV revolution

bne IntelliNews May 10, 2021

Could electric cars and batteries generate the new high-tech sector the region so badly needs?

BRICKS & MORTAR: What happens if Russia’s mortgage subsidy programme ends?

Ben Aris May 8, 2021

Almost as soon as the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic and a concurrent collapse in oil prices hit Russia’s economy last March, the government reacted by introducing a mortgage subsidy programme; that may end this summer.