TURKEY INSIGHT: Consumer hump, factory slump

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 16, 2019

Turkish industrial production contracts for 10th straight month. Worst run since financial crisis. Government, meanwhile, continues to work the credit pumps. “Central bank playing with fire,” says one analyst.

Russia’s LNG production soaring in 2019

Ben Aris in Berlin August 16, 2019

Russia has kept is oil and gas production capped in keeping with the terms of the OPEC+ deal, but the production of LNG has soared in the last year, as the Kremlin hopes to turn gas into a commodity that can be sold anywhere.

ECB shuts down troubled Latvian lender PNB Banka

Levente Szilagyi in Budapest August 16, 2019

The ECB assessed that PNB Banka was failing or likely to fail in accordance with the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation.

Fast fashion giant Primark prepares to expand in Poland

bne IntelliNews August 16, 2019

Eastern expansion continues after Primark opened its first CEE store in Ljubljana in June.

US partner ‘has pulled out of Georgia’s Anaklia deep water port project’

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 15, 2019

Withdrawal reportedly caused by lack of government backing for country’s flagship infrastructure development. Analysts anticipate investment mothballing or arrival of Russian or Chinese stakeholders to replace Western partners.

ING Bank Turkey renews syndicated loan ahead of Turkish lenders’ refinancing season

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 15, 2019

All-in cost of €190mn tranche is Euribor+2.40%, $96mn tranche fixed at Libor+2.50%. Rollover ratio stands at 49%.

Has the Kremlin already scuppered Russia's next generation high speed 5G mobile phone network before it has been built?

bne IntelliNews August 15, 2019

Has the Kremlin already scuppered the launch of the next generation high speed 5G mobile phone network before it has been built? Some industry participants think so after the Russian government assigned a a little used frequency band for the system t

Armenia audit finds no grounds for criminal prosecution of gold miner Lydian

bne IntelliNews August 15, 2019

Toronto-listed company’s site has been blockaded for months by protesters arguing mining will pose a threat to water resources.

More publications switch from Kiev to Kyiv and ignore the “chicken thing”

Ben Aris in Berlin August 15, 2019

After resisting for years, two more leading publications have switched the spelling of Ukraine’s capital from Kiev to Kyiv.

Ukraine’s economy takes off? Economic growth jumps to 4.6% in 2H19

bne IntelliNews August 15, 2019

The strong gain was driven by a bumper grain harvest and soaring grain exports that allowed Ukraine to overtake Russia as the biggest exporter of grain in the world for the first time in three years.

Turkish Airlines passenger decline ugly symptom of consumer crunch in Turkey

bne IntelliNews August 14, 2019

Flagship carrier reports 4.8% July fall in number of people flying, with 11% drop in domestic traffic despite tourism high season.

Russian watchdog proposes to privatise Aeroflot's lowcoster Pobeda

bne IntelliNews August 14, 2019

Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has proposed the privatisation of the budget airline Pobeda, part of the national air carrier Aeroflot Group, and let it concentrate on domestic routes to bring prices down

Georgia’s political airwaves battle heats up with new channel announcement

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 14, 2019

Likely financier is controversial ex-defence minister turned oligarch. Meanwhile, new anti-government movement planned by TBC Bank founder.

Estonian coalition agrees on pension reform bill

Levente Szilagyi in Budapest August 14, 2019

The new pension scheme would allow people to opt out of the second pillar or suspend payments from 2020, which the IMF warns will increase the burden on future generations and lead to people cashing out their savings.

Ukraine’s fruit and berry exports expected to boom this year

bne IntelliNews August 13, 2019

Ukraine’s fruit and berry production is flourishing and exports are expected to boom this year, according to Pro-Consulting, Unian reported on August 13.

Georgia’s main opposition TV station could fall into pro-government hands

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 13, 2019

Former owner of Rustavi 2 who regained control through the courts offers to sell broadcaster and calls for insolvency proceedings to be launched.

Moldova’s fragile coalition put to the test by fiscal tightening agreed with IMF

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 13, 2019

The Socialists’ opposition to fiscal provisions threatens to become the first formal conflict within their fragile alliance with the pro-EU ACUM bloc.

TV losing its power to influence as a news source in Russia

Eurasianet August 13, 2019

TV used to be the main source of power in Russia, but unlike China, the internet is open and younger people get the majority of their news and information online. The state has belatedly woken up to the need to control online content

Reports of Turkmen president’s death prove greatly exaggerated

bne IntelliNews August 12, 2019

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, appearing in good health, gives speech at Caspian Economic Forum.

First annual current account surplus since 2002 for Turkey but size of monthly deficit a surprise

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 12, 2019

Fall in imports after currency crisis rather than export strength eliminated gap. Repeated credit expansions now undoing progress.