Bulgaria, Croatia seek to minimise fallout from Thomas Cook collapse

By Clare Nuttall in Glasgow September 24, 2019

Government officials in Bulgaria and Croatia scrambled this week to alleviate the negative effects on their tourism business following the collapse of British holiday firm Thomas Cook.

IMF sharply raises Turkey growth forecast but says calm on country’s financial markets looks “fragile”

Will Conroy in Prague September 24, 2019

Fund says growth has rebounded aided by policy stimulus and favourable market conditions. Adds monetary easing has been “too aggressive” and that only “viable borrowers” should be accepted amid new credit drive.

Russia's rating agency ACRA awards Russia an “A” in its first sovereign rating score

Ben Aris in Berlin September 23, 2019

At A-, Russia’s first sovereign long-term foreign currency credit rating from domestic ratings agency ACRA is significantly higher than its ratings from the international agencies.

Turkey works on loan-support for tourism businesses harmed by collapse of Thomas Cook

bne IntelliNews September 23, 2019

Failed coup attempt in 2016 seen as one factor in demise of firm. Industry figures worried country could miss out on more than half a million tourists a year following loss of company.

Public’s perception of direction Georgia is taking most negative in almost a decade

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 23, 2019

In six months, percentage of survey respondents saying country is headed in wrong direction increases to 49% from 38%.

Albania hit by strongest earthquake in 30 years

bne IntelliNews September 22, 2019

Power cuts and damage to buildings in Tirana and Durres after quake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, but no deaths reported.

Croatian government backs down over retirement age increase

bne IntelliNews September 20, 2019

The increase in the retirement age was part of Zagreb’s plans to reform the pension system in response to the country’s ageing population, but sparked an angry backlash from thousands of Croatians.

Stop “demonizing” Armenia’s mining industry PM tells environmental activists

bne IntelliNews September 20, 2019

Nikol Pashinian warns mineral export revenues are so important to small nation that in event of renewed war with Azerbaijan the depletion of them would be a matter of national security.

Russian industrial robots market grows 42% in 2018 but remains negligible

bne IntelliNews September 20, 2019

Russian market for industrial robots in 2018 increased by 42% to 1,007 units, Vedomosti daily reported on September 19 citing the data of the International Federation of Robotechnics (IFR).

Russian government values oil reserves at $1 trillion

bne IntelliNews September 20, 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has estimated the total value of Russia's oil reserves at RUB74.5 trillion ($1.2 trillion), almost doubling the valuation over one year, RBC business portal reported. Total value of hydrocarbons,

Hiventures partners with Budapest bourse to support IPOs

Levente Szilagyi in Budapest September 20, 2019

State-owned venture capital fund Hiventures will pick companies it deems bourse-ready from its portfolio and ready them for inclusion on the stock exchange's Xtend market.

Albanian ex-interior minister sentenced to five years in prison in drug trafficking case

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 20, 2019

Saimir Tahiri was found not guilty of drug trafficking but sentenced for abuse of office, in verdict announced as Tirana seeks a date to open EU accession talks next month.

Turkish banks eye transfer of higher-quality NPLs to asset management company

bne IntelliNews September 20, 2019

Top lenders under pressure from watchdog after order to convert $8bn of loans to non-performing status.

Charges against US fund manager Michael Calvey in Vostochniy case start to fall apart

EWDN in Moscow September 19, 2019

The charges against Baring Vostok executives could fall apart as investigators have re-appraised the value of shares of a bank, which was central to the case.

Iran’s Zarif issues “all-out war” warning

bne IntelliNews September 19, 2019

US Secretary of State Pompeo says of Iranians: “It’s not the case you can subcontract out devastation of 5% of world’s global energy supply and think you can absolve yourself from responsibility.”

US, Belarus agree to return ambassadors despite lack of Minsk's progress with human rights

Sergei Kuznetsov in Minsk September 19, 2019

The US administration and authoritarian Belarus, headed by Alexander Lukashenko, Europe's longest-ruling head of state, have agreed to "prepared to exchange ambassadors as the next step in normalising our relationship"

Quality of life in Czechia higher than in the US, Deloitte study says

Nelly Tomchikova in Prague September 19, 2019

The quality of life in Czechia has overtaken that in the US, according to a new survey from Deloitte in cooperation with NGO Social Progress Imperative. Czech ranks 24th, the US ranks 26th

Romania’s government gains 45-day grace period to secure new majority

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 19, 2019

Constitutional Court ruling gives PM Viorica Danicla time to put together a new majority after the ruling coalition split — but opposition leaders are still preparing for a no-confidence vote.

SAUDI OIL ATTACKS: Iran warns of wider conflict, Trump becomes unlikely fan of UN

bne IntelliNews September 18, 2019

Riyadh presents debris it says shows Tehran at least sponsored pre-dawn strikes, Houthis stage press call to substantiate their military capabilities.

Saudi Arabia restores 2mnbpd out of 5.7mnbpd following drone missile attack

Ian Simm in Edinburgh September 18, 2019

Saudi Arabia has already restored 2mn barrels per day (bpd) of oil production from the 5.7mnbpd that were knocked out by last weekend’s drone and missile attack on its largest production facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais.