COMMENT: Romania reaches new historical levels of foreign debt

Alexandru M. Tanase in London June 17, 2019

Amid the recent drama on Romania's political scene, nobody has paid any attention to a much more concerning trend: the fast increase of the Romanian foreign debt.

ING: Romania's current account looks bad

bne IntelliNews June 14, 2019

ALACO DISPATCHES: The roots of Moldova’s standoff

Nicolae Reutoi of Alaco June 14, 2019

Why bitter political enemies have combined forces to precipitate the most serious political crisis ever faced by the country.

REPORTAGE: Kazakhstan protests lose steam as regime mounts ‘semi-curfew’ while Tokayev is sworn in

bne IntelliNews June 13, 2019

New president inaugurated despite claims his opponent won vote in Nur-Sultan, Almaty and numerous regions. Kazakhs see him as Nazarbayev “puppet”. Only real concessions for country’s people will change that.

ALACO DISPATCHES: US trails Russia and China in Arctic race

Rebecca Emerick and Yigal Chazan of Alaco June 5, 2019

Washington exercised by its rivals’ rapid progress in harnessing the Arctic region’s resources and navigation potential as a new ‘Great Game’ starts to emerge.

COMMENT: Presidential elections in Kazakhstan usher in a new era in the country's development

Kazakh ambassador to UK Erlan Idrissov in London June 4, 2019

Kazakhs are about to the go to the polls to elect a new president after Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped aside earlier this year. The Kazakh ambassador to the UK, Erlan Idrissov, believes the election ushers in a new era in Kazakhstan’s development.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Georgia’s Anaklia deep-water port investment hits potentially terminal trouble as officials back rival

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest and Will Conroy in Prague May 30, 2019

‘Monster shark in the water’ takes form of permit for rival Poti project. Conspiracy theorists will have a field day when presented with the facts.

Billionaires are good for happiness

Ben Aris in Berlin May 29, 2019

Happiness in poor countries is higher the more billionaires they have. That is the counterintuitive conclusion from a study into the relationship between income and wealth inequality and its effect on happiness.

Ibizagate: Intentional and unintentional consequences of the government crisis in Austria for (Eastern) Europe

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna May 28, 2019

The coalition between Austria’s conservative-liberal ÖVP and the right-wing populist FPÖ has been viewed very critically in Austria and abroad since it was formed in December 2017. It has also been an issue for the Eastern European bloc

Turkey Insight: Not weak at the knees yet? Credit default swaps just hit 520

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 24, 2019

Global markets are pricing in a Turkish default. The Erdogan administration is fixated on its pre-election stimulus and flattering Trump. The IMF says it ain’t had a call. And the IIF quite frankly is saying WTF?

COMMENT: Russia keeps accumulating foreign assets, sales of OFZ bonds driving exchange rate

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING May 21, 2019

April balance of payments confirms the corporate preference to convert export proceeds into international assets, making foreign inflows into local state bonds the only support factor for the ruble exchange rate

MACRO ADVISORY: Uzbekistan Terraforming: Privatization is the next stage

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory  May 20, 2019

Since the election of Shavkat Mirziyoyev in December 2016, Uzbekistan has been on a fast-track programme to transform what was, for the previous 25 years, a no-go investment zone. Privatisation is the next step.

COMMENT: Russian offshore? Not so fast...

Polina Lyadnova and Matthew Fisher of Cleary Gottlieb May 20, 2019

The two offshore zones established in Russia last August for the purposes of tempting foreign-based Russian businesses back to the Motherland have yet to catch on.

COMMENT: Russia’s GDP growth slows in 1Q19, challenging the policy framework

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING May 20, 2019

Russian GDP growth slowed from 2.7% year on year in 4Q18 to just 0.5% y/y in 1Q19, well below expectations. Unlike most commentators, we attribute this slowdown to a pause in the state CAPEX rather than to the VAT hike.