Features

EXPLAINER: Just how bad are the sanctions on Russia’s ruble-denominated OFZ treasury bonds?

Ben Aris in Berlin April 19, 2021

The White House has slapped new sanctions on Russia and targeted the Russian Ministry of Finance ruble-denominated OFZ treasury bills for the first time, the workhorse bond that is used to fund the budget. But what do the sanctions mean in practice?

Uzbekistan's stock market sees its first big "pump & dump" incident

Ben Aris in Berlin April 19, 2021

The share price of Uzbek insurance company Universal Sugurta rose 200,000% in the first two months of this year, only to collapse again in March. It looks like a classic "pump and dump" play, but for the nascent market that's probably a good thing.

Allegro will have to move fast to stem the Amazon flood

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw April 18, 2021

US e-commerce giant's push into the booming Polish market will make it much more competitive overnight.

Kyrgyzstan president prescribes poison root for COVID-19

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva for Eurasianet April 16, 2021

The health minister then drank the concoction at a press conference.

Geopolitics makes the Russian ruble rate highly volatile

Ben Aris in Berlin April 15, 2021

The Russian ruble has been through some wild swings this year as it has almost completely decoupled from the price of oil and is almost entirely dependent on the ebbs and flows of geopolitical tension.

The new no 1 in Romania’s private medical sector

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 11, 2021

Regina Maria overtook rival MedLife to become the biggest player in the Romanian private medical services market. Private equity backer Mid Europa Partners plans to build it up further.

Bulgaria’s new sheriff in town

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 10, 2021

Slavi Trifonov is the favourite to become Bulgaria’s next prime minister while Boyko Borissov is consigned to the dustbin of history. But are the two politicians so different?

Next steps for Romania’s Fondul Proprietatea

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 10, 2021

It’s ten years since Fondul Proprietatea listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. bne IntelliNews looks at what’s next, including the upcoming IPO of its largest portfolio company, Hidroelectrica.

Nakhchivan rail plans promise to rewire Caucasus connections

David O'Byrne for Eurasianet April 9, 2021

Iran stands to be one of the winners of the new regional transportation map.

Hungarian millionaire’s persecution shows reality of 'rule of law' in Viktor Orban’s Hungary

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest April 9, 2021

Fertiliser magnate suffers 17 inspections in two years after clashing with Fidesz oligarchs and ending football club donations.

COVID cabin fever creates a middle class Balkan jetset

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 9, 2021

With most of Europe under lockdown, holidaymakers from the Western Balkans are jetting off to exotic long haul destinations.

Russia gets ready for green power and problems from costing carbon

Ben Aris in Berlin April 8, 2021

A string of massive environmental disasters in 2020 and the increasing awareness that Russia’s permafrost is melting have put the climate crisis on Russia’s table and the Kremlin is responding.

This former Russian deputy minister is now worth $10bn after NASDAQ IPO

Adrien Henni of East-West Digital News in Moscow April 7, 2021

A new Russian techbillionaire emerged last week on the NASDAQ with the SPAC-enabled IPO of Arrival, a company touted as a game-changer in the electric car industry.

IKEA’s New Europe Empire

bne IntelliNews April 3, 2021

Getting an IKEA store is a good guide to how developed a country is. And the Swedish furniture store has an uncanny knack for opening their yellow and blue stores exactly at the beginning of a country's rapid growth phase.

Air Bank poised to fly to top of Czech banking

Robert Anderson in Prague April 1, 2021

Merger with Moneta Money Bank still going ahead, says CEO of digital bank, despite death of owner Petr Kellner.

China’s water use threatens Kazakhstan’s other big lake

David Trilling for Eurasianet March 31, 2021

Climate change, farming and a lack of cooperation risk another Aral Sea disaster.

Borissov fights to hold on to power in Bulgarian election

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 31, 2021

He’s been touring the country in an attempt to shore up fading ratings, but PM Boyko Borissov will struggle to put together a new coalition after Sunday’s general election.

Turkmenistan: Rotten tomatoes review

Akhal-Teke: Eurasianet March 31, 2021

The president gets another title, ignores soaring food prices, starts a charity, and pens a ditty to his favourite city. This and more in our weekly Turkmenistan briefing.

Russia's taste for Irish whiskey explodes

Jason Corcoran in Dublin March 30, 2021

Russia is now Irish whiskey's second biggest market after the US as wealthier consumers shift away from vodka.

OBITUARY: Petr Kellner, Central Europe's great dealmaker

Robert Anderson in Prague March 29, 2021

Czech billionaire financier dies in helicopter crash, raising questions over the future of his diversified PPF Group.

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