Russia, Belarus reportedly ink 'economic confederacy’ roadmap

bne IntelliNews September 17, 2019

Russia and its neighbouring post-Soviet republic Belarus have inked a roadmap with the aim to form "an economic confederacy" by 2022, the Kommersant business daily reported on September 16.

Azerbaijan launches massive military drill

bne IntelliNews September 17, 2019

Azerbaijan’s armed forces launched massive operational and tactical exercises involving up to 10,000 personnel on September 16, in show of strength related to its long running dispute with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region

Study shows Slovaks trust carmakers and banks more than politicians and government

Nelly Tomchikova in Prague September 17, 2019

Slovaks see carmakers as more trustworthy than politicians, according to a new survey conducted by IMAS International for Erste Group, the Slovak News Agency (SNA) reported on September 16.

EU moves forward with Article 7 procedure against Hungary

bne IntelliNews September 17, 2019

Hungary’s incoming Justice Minister Judit Varga was grilled at the first hearing by EU affairs ministers, as Budapest tries to play down criticism over the rule of law and frame procedure as an attack on its anti-migration policies.

Trump stops short of pinning definitive blame on Iran for Saudi oil attacks

bne IntelliNews September 17, 2019

Critics may see his cautious approach as evidence of a vulnerability: an aversion to getting dragged into an unpopular Middle East war in the run-up to the 2020 US election.

Drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities not set to impact oil flows to Europe in big way

Ben Aris in Berlin September 16, 2019

Europe takes little oil from Middle East. It is heavily dependent on Russia for crude deliveries and can turn to Moscow to fill any gaps. The effect on the oil price, however, is a different matter.

Zelenskiy looking for a breakthrough to end the Donbas conflict with Russia

Ben Aris in Kyiv September 16, 2019

Zelenskiy hopes to secure the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Donbas in the east of the country, where more than 13,000 Ukrainian servicemen have been killed in the conflict in the last five years.

Ukraine’s infrastructure ministry may pay compensation to Kolomoisky for Ukraine International Airlines' sanctions loses

Ben Aris in Kyiv September 16, 2019

Ministry says it is willing to pay a reported $216mn of compensation to Ukraine International Airlines that belongs to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky for loses incurred because of a Russian overflight ban.

Iran’s Zarif accuses US counterpart Pompeo of “max deceit” over claims Tehran was behind drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities

bne IntelliNews September 15, 2019

Fraught situation as world waits on US to settle on a response.

Bulgarian national broadcaster BNR shut down for hours after prominent journalist suspended

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 15, 2019

The decision to suspend Silvia Velikova caused a storm in Bulgaria as it was seen as yet another attempt to silence journalists critical of those in power.

Hankook postpones capacity expansion in Hungary

bne IntelliNews September 12, 2019

Speculation that South Korean tyre maker's decision to delay €268mn investment at its Hungarian plant is linked to shortage of workforce.

Turkcell switching to single instalment for TRY1.01bn dividend

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 11, 2019

Largest Turkish mobile operator says shareholders Telia, Cukurova Holding and Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne have agreed to vote for profit distribution.

Ukraine passes presidential impeachment law, to cull Central Election Commission and pass a new illicit enrichment law

Ben Aris in Berlin September 11, 2019

Ukraine’s parliament continued its legislative tsumani by passing laws that allow the president to be removed by impeachment, cut the number of Supreme Court judges by a third and toughen the punishments for corrupt officials .

“Renewed collapse in lira” just a matter of time says Commerzbank ahead of Turkish rates meeting

bne IntelliNews September 11, 2019

“Overly loose monetary policy risks exacerbating Turkey’s age-old vulnerabilities by fueling twin dynamics of inflation and attendant currency weakness,” adds Societe Generale strategist.

Turkey’s banking association expects $10bn of electric utility loan restructuring this year

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 10, 2019

Energy companies left up to their necks in debt by lira crisis.

Former Erdogan ally ‘to challenge Turkish president’s ruling AKP with new party’

bne IntelliNews September 10, 2019

Ex-economic czar Ali Babacan says the condition in which Turkey is currently in is “truly saddening”. Takes aim at state of economy, human rights and rule of law.

France calls for reset in relations with Russia

Ben Aris in Berlin September 10, 2019

It’s official: France is actively working for a reset in relations with Russia. “The time has come, the time is right, to work towards reducing the distrust between Russia and Europe," Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister says

Ukraine central bank urges law enforcers to protect former governor

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2019

The board of National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has urged the nation's law enforcement agencies to protect the life and health of its former governor Valeria Gontareva, current leadership, and staff.

Istanbul, Ankara mayors not at risk of being replaced says interior minister

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2019

Fears of a move rose after three Kurdish mayors were kicked out of office. Istanbullers, meanwhile, invited by opposition administration to see exhibit of hundreds of ‘AKP’ official cars as example of squandering of public money by predecessors.

Turkish Airlines receives approval to issue eurobonds worth up to $2bn

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 9, 2019

Reports suggest, meanwhile, private lenders in Turkey “pushing hard” for tighter margins in autumn term syndicated loan renewal season.