COMMENT: Southeast Europe the growth star in CEE banking, but the profit pool is elsewhere

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna July 16, 2019

The core message for bankers and investors active in the CEE region should be: close to old records, potential for more but watch out for late cycle phenomena.

Sberbank reportedly sues ex-owner of Antipinsky refinery Mazurov

bne IntelliNews July 16, 2019

The troubles of Russia's largest independent vertically integrated refinery Antipinsky led Sberbank to prepare to bankrupt the company, while London courts froze €225mn worth of assets.

Russian oil companies ask for $40bn in tax breaks for Arctic development

bne IntelliNews July 15, 2019

Discussions are ongoing on whether Russia's largest companies will be able to maintain stable long-term oil output with Siberian brownfields alone, without tapping into challenging Arctic offshore fields.

Russia’s oil output fell to a three-year low of 10.79mn bpd in early July

bne IntelliNews July 11, 2019

Russia’s oil output fell to a three-year low of 10.79mn barrels per day (bpd) in early July, due to a row between oil pipeline monopoly Transneft and Rosneft, the country’s biggest oil producer

Russian internet giant Yandex launches a beta version of its food retail app Supercheck

bne IntelliNews July 11, 2019

Online retail is growing in leaps and bounds even if traditional retail is in the doldrums on the back of six years of real income wage increase stagnation.

Putin ridicules green energy in speech in Russia’s dirtiest region

Ben Aris in Berlin July 10, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin ridiculed green energy during a speech in Sverdlovsk, Russia’s dirtiest region, asking if anyone cares about the worms and birds that are killed by wind turbines.

Russia’s current account posted a $45.6bn surplus in the first half of this year

bne IntelliNews July 10, 2019

Softer crude oil prices offset by weak domestic demand and lower imports all contributed to the surplus

Russian State Duma calls for sanctions on Georgia, but Putin urges restraint

bne IntelliNews July 10, 2019

The Duma proposed a ban on imports of Georgian wine and mineral water amid a spike in tensions between the two countries.

Two Russian comedians prank North Macedonia’s PM Zaev

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 10, 2019

Russian pranksters Vladimir "Vovan" Kuznetsov and Alexei "Lexus" Stolyarov called North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev pretending to be ex-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.

COMMENT: Sberbank’s chief economist says Russian inflation could come in below 4% in 2019

bne IntelliNews July 9, 2019

Sberbank’s chief economist says Russian inflation could come in below 4% in 2019

Central European economies decouple from Eurozone slowdown

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 9, 2019

Economists from wiiw have revised upwards their forecasts for Central and Southeast European economies as wage-driven growth has stopped them from following the eurozone into a slowdown.

Construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline 90% finished

Ben Aris in Berlin July 9, 2019

Last week Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom invited bank analysts on a trip to inspect the construction work of the Turkish Stream (aka TurkStream) pipeline. They report work on the pipeline is on schedule and that it is 90% complete.

Sberbank and Yandex e-commerce JV may end in divorce after only one year

bne IntelliNews July 9, 2019

It was supposed to be Russia’s e-commerce powerhouse, but the tie up between state-owned retail banking behemoth Sberbank and tech giant Yandex looks like it will end in divorce.

Russia’s consumer confidence index ticked up by 1 pp in the second quarter to minus 15%

bne IntelliNews July 9, 2019

The mood amongst Russian consumers brightened a tad in the second quarter of this year, but overall consumers remain very gloomy.

Russian companies scramble to improve their ESG scores or face losing investors

Ben Aris in Berlin July 9, 2019

"Environmental, social and governance" performance is becoming a hot topic amongst leading Russian companies and a way to reduce their "Russia risk" discount.

Central, Eastern and Southeast European sovereigns to return to debt markets on large scale in 2020, Raiffeisen says

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 9, 2019

Governments of Central and Southeast Europe have already secured most of the funding they need for this year, but with more obligations maturing in 2020 they are expected to return to the markets on a large scale next year

Georgian opposition TV host delivers expletive-laden philippic against Russia

bne IntelliNews July 8, 2019

Rustavi 2 host used some of the strongest swearwords in the language in his monologue that followed a week of protests sparked by a Russian deputy's speech to the Georgian parliament.

Russia will build the tallest residential building in Europe.

bne IntelliNews July 7, 2019

The One Tower project will be constructed on the territory of Moscow City, the Russian capital’s financial district, with apartments in the very centre of the business life of the capital.

MOSCOW BLOG: Putin at work at the illiberal G20 summit

Ben Aris in Berlin July 5, 2019

The common wisdom is that Russian President Vladimir Putin is all about tactics and doesn't have a strategy. But things have changed. The collapse of the west has made it easy for Putin, who is capitalising on an improving hand.

Rainbow flag flies over CEE, but attitudes to LGBT vary vastly

Ben Aris in Berlin July 4, 2019

North Macedonia held its first ever gay pride march on June 29 with up to 1,000 people attending the event. There were pride marches in nearly all the CEE countries but the experience in each country is vastly different.