Russian retail investors return to bank deposits as interest rates rise

bne IntelliNews November 29, 2021

Thanks to a series of aggressive rate hikes by the CBR, Russian retail investors have started to put their money back into bank deposits after they invested heavily in the stock market after real interest rates fell to next to nothing.

Ready for war at any time in southern Armenia

Neil Hauer in Sisian November 27, 2021

After last year's war, Armenia’s southernmost province of Syunik is now bordered by Azerbaijan on two sides. Local people fear they are next.

Montenegro’s dysfunctional ruling coalition limps on

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 26, 2021

Keeping President Djukanovic’s DPS out of power has proved a strong glue holding the coalition together, but rifts among its members have stalled Montenegro’s progress towards EU accession.

Gazprom says it will use windfall gas crisis cash to up boost capex

Newsbase staff November 26, 2021

Capital spending levels at Russia’s Gazprom are once again creeping upwards, as the company prepares to ramp up gas supplies to China and expand development in the Russian Arctic.

Kazakhstan looks to nuclear amid crypto-driven energy shortage

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet November 26, 2021

The country no longer has a choice, the president says.

Moscow loudly protests against war talk as US continues to accuse Russia of a military build-up

Ben Aris in Berlin November 26, 2021

Moscow has loudly protested against western talk of a possible invasion of Ukraine, but at the same time continues preparing for a possible military clash with Nato.

Uzbekistan’s multi-coloured textile revolution

Ben Aris in Tashkent November 25, 2021

Uzbekistan has a very long history of making luxury textiles and today the country is trying to revive them.

Poland’s opposition mulls best strategy to beat PiS

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw November 24, 2021

So far the opposition is resisting the kind of broad formal deal that parties have agreed in Czechia and Hungary to oust populist incumbents.

LONG READ: Russia looks poised to invade Ukraine, but what would an invasion actually look like?

Gav Don in Edinburgh November 24, 2021

Tensions are high and there is talk of a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia. But what would that actually look like? How much destruction would it cause and how many people would die?

Opposition leader describes Erdogan as ‘national security problem’ as stunning collapse of lira shocks Turks

bne IntelIiNews November 24, 2021

Calls for early elections mount as panicked workers start converting salaries into hard currency as soon as they are paid.

‘Titanic’ Turkey’s ‘insane’ policy settings rip hole in side of lira

bne IntelIiNews November 23, 2021

Tirade from Erdogan in which he declared “economic war of independence” appears to have accelerated sinking of the ship.

Central Europe starts to lock down again

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

The region’s underfunded health systems are struggling to cope with the impact of the fourth wave of the coronavirus on the large numbers of their citizens who are still unvaccinated.

Greece goes shopping for new defence relationships

Gav Don November 21, 2021

Greece is building new defence relationships with Israel, Egypt, France and the US.

Uzbekistan’s golden giant, the Navoi Mining & Metallurgy Kombinat

Ben Aris in Navoi November 21, 2021

The Muruntau gold mine located in the Qizilqum (aka Kyzyl-Kum) desert in Uzbekistan is the world’s biggest open-cast gold mine. Discovered in 1958, some $3bn has been invested into modernisation, and the plan is to privatise it in the next years.

Worsening of Turkey’s crisis ‘could spread contagion’

bne IntelIiNews November 19, 2021

Impact versus country’s 2018 balance of payments crunch might be less as EM currencies generally don’t look like they’re in need of significant adjustment, while foreign investors have pared back exposure to Turkey, Capital Economics assesses.

Turkey ‘firmly in crisis territory’ after latest rate cut says Capital Economics

bne IntelIiNews November 18, 2021

Warns lira threatens to burst through 13/$ in coming days. One analyst calls move “literally insane”. Opposition calls for early elections.

Russia’s ruble exchange rate disregarding talk of troops on the Ukrainian border so far

Ben Aris in Berlin November 16, 2021

The ruble’s exchange rate to the dollar has acted a fairly good barometer for the level of geopolitical tensions in the last two years. But it has shrugged off recent talk of troop build-ups on Ukraine's border and a possible invasion.

Uzbekistan’s cement giant Qizilqumsement on a roll

Ben Aris in Navoi November 16, 2021

Qizilqumsement (QZSM) is of Soviet vintage and is the biggest cement maker in Central Asia. Its business is booming as demand is outstripping demand. A new production line is due online in December that should make the company even more profitable.

Uzbekistan central bank focuses on inflation targeting, but rising prices remain a problem

Ben Aris in Tashkent November 15, 2021

The Uzbek economy was one of only two major economies in the world that didn't go into recession in 2020. While the macroeconomic fundamentals are solid, the main headache remains inflation.

Savitsky’s museum, the Louvre of the Steppe

Ben Aris in Nukus November 14, 2021

The small town of Nukus in the wastes of Uzbekistan’s Qizilqum (aka Kzyl-Kum) desert is the “Louvre of the Steppe.” The new building houses an Aladdin’s cave of lost Russian impressionist art, rescued from Stalin's terror of the 30s.