Southeast Europe / News

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.

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.

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 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.

Bulgaria’s Bulgartransgaz signs deal on Turkish Stream construction with Arkad

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 18, 2019

Contract signed after Supreme Court ruling reinstates Arkad as winner in the tender to build the Bulgarian leg of the second line of the Turkish Stream pipeline.

Turkey's banking regulator demands lenders write off $8bn of loans

bne IntelliNews September 18, 2019

Officials make big move against fallout from currency crisis.

Albania drafts new project for Vlora airport

bne IntelliNews September 16, 2019

The Albanian authorities renewed their efforts for the project after negotiations with a Turkish tie-up of Cengiz, Kolin and Kalyon failed in April this year due to disagreements with the government over the project.

Bulgarian national broadcaster BNR shut down for hours after prominent journalist suspended

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 15, 2019

The decision to suspend Silvia Velikova caused a storm in Bulgaria as it was seen as yet another attempt to silence journalists critical of those in power.

Turkcell switching to single instalment for TRY1.01bn dividend

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 11, 2019

Largest Turkish mobile operator says shareholders Telia, Cukurova Holding and Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne have agreed to vote for profit distribution.

“Renewed collapse in lira” just a matter of time says Commerzbank ahead of Turkish rates meeting

bne IntelliNews September 11, 2019

“Overly loose monetary policy risks exacerbating Turkey’s age-old vulnerabilities by fueling twin dynamics of inflation and attendant currency weakness,” adds Societe Generale strategist.

Turkey’s banking association expects $10bn of electric utility loan restructuring this year

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 10, 2019

Energy companies left up to their necks in debt by lira crisis.

Former Erdogan ally ‘to challenge Turkish president’s ruling AKP with new party’

bne IntelliNews September 10, 2019

Ex-economic czar Ali Babacan says the condition in which Turkey is currently in is “truly saddening”. Takes aim at state of economy, human rights and rule of law.

Istanbul, Ankara mayors not at risk of being replaced says interior minister

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2019

Fears of a move rose after three Kurdish mayors were kicked out of office. Istanbullers, meanwhile, invited by opposition administration to see exhibit of hundreds of ‘AKP’ official cars as example of squandering of public money by predecessors.

Turkish Airlines receives approval to issue eurobonds worth up to $2bn

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 9, 2019

Reports suggest, meanwhile, private lenders in Turkey “pushing hard” for tighter margins in autumn term syndicated loan renewal season.

Moldovan banks close accounts of key Transnistrian companies

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 9, 2019

Moldovan central bank says move is in line with international regulations against money laundering and terrorism financing, but officials in the breakaway republic suspect a political motive too.

Bosnia holds peaceful first pride parade amid heavy police presence

bne IntelliNews September 8, 2019

Bosnia's first pride parade was attended by thousands, going beyond the organisers’ expectations that only around 500 people would participate.

EU’s Hahn ready to help Bosnia solve political deadlock as deadline for PM nomination expires

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 7, 2019

Bosnia has been without a government since the October 2018 elections, as deep divisions over its relationship with Nato have kept party leaders from forming a coalition.

Turkish Airlines files awaited downward revision in 2019 targets

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 5, 2019

Flagship carrier cuts revenue forecast by $0.6bn and passenger volume expectation by 4mn. Difficulties include serious teething problems at Turkey’s new mega airport.