Analysts think Turkish finance minister got “slap on wrist” after “competitive lira” remarks

bne IntelliNews January 24, 2020

“Broke the number one rule for members of the government—Don't talk about the exchange rate!” says strategist after Berat Albayrak appears to row back on comments.

Russia’s RTS spring rally pauses as investors take profits

bne IntelliNews January 24, 2020

With no new money flowing into ETFs, Russia’s spring rally paused this week as investors took profits following a strong start to the year.

Eastern EU members “failing to address corruption effectively”, finds Transparency International

bne IntelliNews January 23, 2020

Many of the newer EU member states saw their scores deteriorate on the latest Corruption Perceptions Index amid growing state capture and efforts by governments to undermine judicial independence.

Western Balkans countries sink on latest Corruption Perceptions Index

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 23, 2020

Poor performance on latest index from Transparency International comes after years of warnings of the risks of democratic backsliding in the region should states fail to progress towards EU accession.

Ukraine’s population falls behind Poland’s for the first time, electronic census says 5mn people lost since 2000

bne IntelliNews January 23, 2020

Ukraine’s population fell behind that of Poland for the first time as an electronic census revealed the number of citizens had fallen by some 5mn people to 37.289mn since the last census in 2000.

Immigration helps ease CEE labour crisis

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow January 23, 2020

The labour shortages that have threatened to limit economic expansion in Central and some parts of Southeast Europe have started to ease in some countries, with increased labour migration a contributing factor.

Ukraine’s domestic bond market off to a strong start in 2020 as yields fall below 10%

bne IntelliNews January 23, 2020

Ukraine’s domestic bond market got off to a strong start in 2020 as heavy bidding at the weekly auction on January 22 depressed yields to 10%. A year ago Ukraine bonds were yielding 19%.

President of war-hit Ukraine offers 'investment nanny, tax holidays' to potential investors

bne IntelliNews January 23, 2020

Any potential investor who invests more than $100mn in Ukraine, will get a personal "guardian" from the government, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is at the Davos conference to talk up Ukraine’s investment case.

Russian Aeroflot carrier taking off for stellar 2020

bne IntelliNews January 23, 2020

Analysts are increasingly keen on the stocks of Russian national air carrier Aeroflot after it had a terrible 2019.

Turkey’s top private lender Isbank sells $750mn of 10-year Basel III eurobonds, others awaited

Akin Nazli in Belgrade January 22, 2020

Turkey’s 5-year credit default swaps fell below 250bp on January 15 and have remained in the 240s since then. Record 566bp was seen in after the lira crisis.

Turkey investors wonder what to make of officials' surprise visits to banks and finance minister’s call for “more competitive” lira

bne IntelliNews January 22, 2020

Bankers puzzled by wide-ranging probe as competition authority searches their computers. Meanwhile, Erdogan administration plays it cool as real rates sink below zero. Financial security presented as issue of “national security”.

Romania issues €3bn Eurobonds as it returns to international markets for first time in 2020

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest January 22, 2020

The clarity brought by the new government has improved investors’ confidence, but more is needed to bring yields down in line with peer countries with more sustainable public finance indicators.

Moldova won’t bow to IMF demands for gas price hike says PM

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest January 22, 2020

The new administration in Chisinau will take a tougher line on negotiating a new package with the IMF when its current arrangement expires in March. PM Ion Chicu says he is willing to forgo external support if conditions are “unacceptable”.

Turkey’s Halkbank exposed to US court fine of $1.8bn within two weeks if prosecutor’s request accepted

bne IntelliNews January 22, 2020

State lender faces contempt of court move after obstinately refusing to appear in New York courthouse to answer Iran sanctions-busting charges.

Croatia’s DIV to take over Norway's troubled Kleven Verft shipyard

bne IntelliNews January 21, 2020

DIV Group owner Tomislav Debeljak expects synergies between Kleven Verft and Croatia's largest shipyard Brodosplit will result in higher competitiveness and cost savings of up to 5%.

Kazakh fugitive banker Ablyazov to face in-absentia trial in Moscow

bne IntelliNews January 21, 2020

Investigators claim he developed complex schemes aimed at financing investment projects in Russia, enabling him to systematically embezzle funds of Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank.

Russia’s RTS spring rally gets boost from new government

Ben Aris in Berlin January 21, 2020

The spring rally that got under way at the start of the new year has received a boost from Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposed constitutional changes and the appointment of a new government, as both the RTS and Moex Russia index hit new highs

‘People of assassinated general’s home province will pay $3mn bounty to anyone who kills Trump’ says Iranian MP

bne IntelliNews January 21, 2020

Addressing parliament, lawmaker also calls on Iran to build nuclear bomb. Qasem Soleimani’s successor, meanwhile, says “enemies” like US "understand no language but force”.

Romania to scrap deal with Chinese partner to expand Cernavoda nuclear power plant

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest January 21, 2020

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban cited the EU's new Green Deal rather than security issues or cost concerns circulated previously as the main reason behind a potential end of the deal with CGN.

Row over PiS’ overhaul of Polish judiciary reaches Washington

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw January 20, 2020

Two democratic US congressmen urged Polish President Andrzej Duda to prevent the so-called "muzzle law" from being pushed through parliament, describing it as a “dangerous threat to Poland’s democratic institutions.”