Slovenia, Israel and Turkey benefit from Kosovo’s politically motivated import tariffs

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 13, 2019

100% import tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia have pushed consumer prices up in Kosovo, but politicians’ claims they would help local producers were never realised, think tank GAP finds.

Firebombs and fury on the streets of Tirana

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2019

Opposition protesters fight police with Molotov cocktails, defying international calls to refrain from violence. Political crisis threatens to derail EU integration process.

Fingers pointed at Iran in blame game over tanker “sabotage operations”

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2019

Tehran says attacks are “worrisome and dreadful”. Iranian MP says “saboteurs from a third country who seek instability in the region” could be the guilty party.

Turkey’s current account gap contracts 88% y/y in Q1 as lira crisis crushes imports

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 13, 2019

More market jitters on report that Treasury may tap central bank reserves to borrow 40bn lira as government budget deficit is deeper than expected. OMFIF op-ed says Erdogan’s mishandling of currency crisis heightens probability of Ankara default.

Russian HeadHunter makes first NASDAQ IPO since 2013

bne IntelliNews May 13, 2019

Leading Russian online job search portal HeadHunter completed its IPO on NASDAQ, on May 9 placing 16.3mn ADRs or 32% of capital at $13.5 per ADR, the upper range of price guidance. The shares of the newcomer jumped by 24% at the start of trading

TURKEY INSIGHT: Claims over officials' lira manipulation via state banks hit international fan

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 10, 2019

Public lenders reportedly sold $1bn on May 9 and overnight to curb latest bout of depreciation. Officials have been up to no good for months, but it’s gone unreported.

Tight race for Lithuania's presidency

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 10, 2019

Two centre-right economists lead the polls ahead of Sunday's vote, as Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis trails in third place.

PM Viktor Orban's family and friends feature heavily on Hungarian rich list

bne IntelliNews May 10, 2019

Orban's close associate Lorinc Meszaros is ranked second on list that also includes PM's son-in-law Istvan Tiborcz and Istvan Garancsi, the owner of the premier's favourite football team.

Nuclear deal: Macron, Merkel urge calm in face of Iran's ultimatum, US accuses Tehran of "blackmail"

bne IntelliNews May 9, 2019

Tehran has given Europe 60 days to help protect its oil and banking industries from Trump sanctions.

Montenegrin court finds opposition leaders guilty of plotting coup

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 9, 2019

Long prison sentences issued for Democratic Front leaders and the Russians prosecutors said masterminded the failed 2016 coup attempt.

Turkish bond yields rise as analysts worry central bank is close to losing control of the market

Ben Aris in Berlin May 9, 2019

Yields on Turkish global bonds jumped as political tensions over the upcoming re-run of the mayoral election in Istanbul gave investors the jitters. Raiffeisen International analysts see the central bank as in danger of losing control of the market.

Hungary unveils long-term energy and climate change plan

bne IntelliNews May 9, 2019

New strategy based on nuclear and renewable energy aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 85% compared to 1990 levels by 2050.

Romania and China sign deal on nuclear power plant expansion

bne IntelliNews May 9, 2019

New units at Cernavoda NPP to help Romania boost energy security and cut emissions by reducing reliance on coal power.

CEE monthly bond wrap: bond investors suffering April showers and still waiting for the flowers

bne IntelliNews May 8, 2019

April was a poor month for bond issues in Central and Eastern Europe as the two biggest markets – Russia and Turkey – were both suffering from political problems that depressed demand.

Turkey’s Yapi Kredi Bank obtains 367-day $1bn syndicated loan

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 8, 2019

All-in cost will be Libor+250bp and Euribor+240bp.

Russia’s Gazprom tightens control over investment programme in an effort to cut waste

bne IntelliNews May 8, 2019

There has been yet another shake up at Russia’s state-owned gas behemoth Gazprom, as the company attempts to improve efficiency and cut down on wasteful spending.

Erdogan faces onslaught of criticism from Europe over election rerun—but US remains silent

bne IntelliNews May 7, 2019

President resorts to what some will see as Orwellian doublespeak, claiming step necessary “to strengthen democracy”. Some opponents talk of his “civilian coup”. Reports say predecessor planning new party.

VTB London unit starts relocating to Frankfurt as losses pile up

Jason Corcoran in Moscow May 7, 2019

Russian bank VTB is relocating business lines and bankers from its London unit to Frankfurt after losses from its London unit tripled

Hungary and Russia amend loan agreement on Paks nuclear power plant

bne IntelliNews May 7, 2019

Budapest opened talks on rescheduling the Russian loan for the Paks expansion when it became clear that the new blocks would not start operations in 2025-2026 as originally planned.

Ukraine lifts trade restrictions for Moldovan steel company in Transnistria

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 7, 2019

Sanctions on steel plant in rebel republic reportedly lifted after appeal from Moldovan PM Pavel Filip.