Imagine Caucasus as “another Syria” cautions Armenia’s president as conflict with Azerbaijan rages on

bne IntelIiNews October 1, 2020

Moves towards arranging peace talks only edge forward as Armen Sarkissian says: “The international community has to realise that if you don’t interfere now, then the Caucasus will become another huge problem.”

Accessed data shot shows Turkey’s Covid rate 19 times worse than officially presented says opposition MP

bne IntelIiNews September 30, 2020

Health minister forced on to back foot as data for day in September shows infection total near 30,000 versus officially stated figure of around 1,500. “Tell our people the truth already,” protests lawmaker.

World must tell Turkey to “get out” of Caucasus says Armenian PM

bne IntelIiNews September 30, 2020

Armenia’s defence ministry issues ominous warning it is deploying weapons capable of “indiscriminate destruction of manpower” in Nagorno-Karabakh in response to claimed use of “large-calibre systems” by Azerbaijan.

Are the Caucasus energy assets in danger from a war in Nagorno-Karabakh?

bne IntelliNews September 29, 2020

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is escalating. Are the numerous pipelines and oil and gas fields in danger of getting caught up in the fighting?

Turkey denies Turkish F-16 jet shot down Armenian plane over Armenia

bne IntelIiNews September 29, 2020

Armenians claim incident in showdown with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh occurred in its airspace.

Iran denies allowing passage of weapons into Armenia after video emerges on social media

bne IntelIiNews September 29, 2020

Tehran officially neutral in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict but Iranians known to be unhappy at Azerbaijan’s relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

International partners abandoning Minsk as a venue for peace talks and sport

Ben Aris in Berlin September 29, 2020

Following Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko’s secret inauguration on September 23 international partners are abandoning Minsk as a venue for major sports events and peace talks.

Turkish lira finds another all-time low with Erdogan’s Caucasus adventurism no help at all

bne IntelIiNews September 28, 2020

Banking regulator takes another step to put a brake on massive lending that is worsening external imbalances. Rates are not high enough to attract carry-traders so the lira is set to further deteriorate, says one analyst.

Armenia accuses Turkey of sending in direct military support for Azerbaijan including F-16s

bne IntelIiNews September 28, 2020

Fierce and bloody fighting centred on Nagorno-Karabakh enclave continues to rage. Baku denies Ankara has also commandeered Syrian militiamen to fight on its side.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Mystery on the bourse as traders ask "Who bought the banks?"

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 27, 2020

Finding some sure footing on the Turkish stock exchange is far easier said than done with officials up to no good with neverending perception management.

COMMENT: Don’t disregard potential for Armenia and Azerbaijan’s war to spiral into something much bigger

bne IntelIiNews September 27, 2020

Should Turkey militarily enter the conflict on Baku’s side and Russia come to the armed defence of Yerevan, things could get very scary indeed.

Major fighting erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

bne IntelIiNews September 27, 2020

Both sides accuse each other of starting clash. Russia calls for immediate ceasefire. Turkey pledges to stand by Azerbaijan.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Follow the (hot) money

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 25, 2020

As banking regulator follows surprise rate hike with relaxation of lenders’ FX swap limits, all the signs are that the Erdogan administration is in the market for a shot in the arm that, ultimately, can only do more damage.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Surprise rate hike not actually a rate hike?

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 24, 2020

“It’s more of a ‘catch-up’” says one analyst. New benchmark rate of 10.25% still below average cost of funding.

Balkan route nations least tolerant of migration

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2020

Acceptance of migrants has declined globally, and the nations of the Western Balkans that bore the brunt of the 2015-2016 migration crisis are now the least tolerant in the world, a new Gallup poll shows.

US ambassador warns Turkey over $2.3bn of unpaid debts owed to pharma companies

bne IntelIiNews September 23, 2020

Debts have ballooned from $230mn a year ago. Payment not forthcoming despite US commerce secretary raising issue with president Erdogan.

Capital forecasts 8 Turkish lira to dollar by year’s end

bne IntelIiNews September 23, 2020

Updates previous expectation of 7.50. As fears mount of currency crisis, IIF notes “historically low non-resident holdings of lira-denominated assets—with only $20.9bn in stocks and $5.8bn in bonds remaining”.

Turkish Medical Association ‘dangerous as coronavirus’ says Erdogan’s ultra-nationalist ally in row over infection figures

bne IntelIiNews September 22, 2020

MHP says body should be shut down after doctors repeat claims that Turkey’s official coronavirus data bear no relation to situation on the ground.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Moody’s warns of autumn peril

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 22, 2020

Ratings agency wary of possible moratorium on FX payments, capital controls and disorderly exchange rate adjustment. But isn’t this all too little, too late from its analysts? The warning signs have been there for years.

International bond investors are selling off local EM debt in all but the best markets

Ben Aris in Berlin September 21, 2020

Emerging markets capital markets have been through a revolution in the last decade, but the coronavirus pandemic and rising political and economic risks in some markets have seen these investors turn tail and flee.