Features

Uzbekistan’s golden giant, the Navoi Mining & Metallurgy Kombinat

Ben Aris in Navoi November 21, 2021

The Muruntau gold mine located in the Qizilqum (aka Kyzyl-Kum) desert in Uzbekistan is the world’s biggest open-cast gold mine. Discovered in 1958, some $3bn has been invested into modernisation, and the plan is to privatise it in the next years.

Worsening of Turkey’s crisis ‘could spread contagion’

bne IntelIiNews November 19, 2021

Impact versus country’s 2018 balance of payments crunch might be less as EM currencies generally don’t look like they’re in need of significant adjustment, while foreign investors have pared back exposure to Turkey, Capital Economics assesses.

Turkey ‘firmly in crisis territory’ after latest rate cut says Capital Economics

bne IntelIiNews November 18, 2021

Warns lira threatens to burst through 13/$ in coming days. One analyst calls move “literally insane”. Opposition calls for early elections.

Russia’s ruble exchange rate disregarding talk of troops on the Ukrainian border so far

Ben Aris in Berlin November 16, 2021

The ruble’s exchange rate to the dollar has acted a fairly good barometer for the level of geopolitical tensions in the last two years. But it has shrugged off recent talk of troop build-ups on Ukraine's border and a possible invasion.

Uzbekistan’s cement giant Qizilqumsement on a roll

Ben Aris in Navoi November 16, 2021

Qizilqumsement (QZSM) is of Soviet vintage and is the biggest cement maker in Central Asia. Its business is booming as demand is outstripping demand. A new production line is due online in December that should make the company even more profitable.

Uzbekistan central bank focuses on inflation targeting, but rising prices remain a problem

Ben Aris in Tashkent November 15, 2021

The Uzbek economy was one of only two major economies in the world that didn't go into recession in 2020. While the macroeconomic fundamentals are solid, the main headache remains inflation.

Savitsky’s museum, the Louvre of the Steppe

Ben Aris in Nukus November 14, 2021

The small town of Nukus in the wastes of Uzbekistan’s Qizilqum (aka Kzyl-Kum) desert is the “Louvre of the Steppe.” The new building houses an Aladdin’s cave of lost Russian impressionist art, rescued from Stalin's terror of the 30s.

Digital divide adds to multi-speed recovery from coronavirus finds EBRD

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 13, 2021

New EBRD Transition Report warns there is a widening gap between economies that have stepped up their use of online and digital services and those that have fallen further behind.

Russia's population policy action plan to 2025 about to start

bne IntelliNews November 12, 2021

The action plan for Russia's population policy program until 2025 is about to start. The plan is the final step in the population policy guidelines adopted by President Putin in 2007.

Uzbekistan: People no longer in the dark about power shortages

Eurasianet November 12, 2021

Until now, officials had been silent about ongoing power cuts, even calling them a thing of the past.

Bulgaria's latest election set to deliver another fragmented parliament

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia November 11, 2021

While President Radev cruises towards re-election, polls indicate Sunday’s snap general election will once again fail to deliver a majority.

INTERVIEW: Operation Garden Ring banks shut down

Ben Aris in Berlin November 10, 2021

The Mints family used to be one of the biggest players on the Moscow real estate market but their business was destroyed in the 2017 near-miss banking crisis. They claim the crisis was orchestrated by the CBR to take over the top commercial banks.

bneGreen: Development banks ADB, EBRD, EDB up the ante at COP26

Theo Normanton in Moscow November 10, 2021

The UN’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow has seen development banks from around the world come together to outline their contributions to a low-carbon future. Robust financial infrastructure is key to a just and efficient transition.

Serbian “sugar king” becomes banking tycoon

Eldar Dizdarevic in Sarajevo November 9, 2021

Who is Miodrag Kostic, the man behind the acquisition of Sberbank’s Central and Eastern Europe units?

Political earthquake follows local elections in North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje November 8, 2021

The poor performance of the ruling Social Democrats in the local elections in North Macedonia triggered political turmoil in the country when Prime Minister Zoran Zaev immediately announced his resignation.

Bucharest stock exchange rebrands for the digital future in a record year

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 8, 2021

Amid the global stock market rally as the world recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, the Bucharest Stock Exchange has performed particularly strongly.

Perspectives | Islamic State using China to vilify Taliban

Lucas Webber for Eurasianet November 8, 2021

Since the Taliban took Kabul, Islamic State sympathisers across South Asia have increased attacks on the movement over its ties to China.

Russia’s venture capital market is booming, fuelled by a run of billion dollar IPOs

Ben Aris in Berlin November 7, 2021

Russia’s venture capital market is booming as entrepreneurs and business hope to cash in on the international appetite for the rapidly expanding tech sector.

The hoovers of Nukus

Ben Aris in Nukus November 6, 2021

Nukus in Uzbekistan's far west used to be an ecological disaster zone, but the worst of its problems are fixed. The country's leading white goods manufacturer Artel has set up a flourishing hoover production facility in the desert town.

Russian value retailers surf inflationary wave

Theo Normanton in Moscow November 5, 2021

Russian value retailers are set to benefit from a combination of shifting behavioural trends, spending patterns driven by economic pressures, and a set of competitive advantages which will come to the fore as inflation shakes up the market.

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