Iran blames misalignment and poor communications for UIA PS752 downing

bne IntelliNews July 13, 2020

The flight was shot down outside Tehran on January 8, killing all 176 people on board.

Reforms stall as Zelenskiy actively undermines NBU independence

Ben Aris in Berlin July 9, 2020

Confidence in the Z-Dream of rapid, deep and far-reaching reforms by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that will transform Ukraine almost totally evaporated this week.

COMMENT: Smolii’s Resignation and the soft coup underway in Ukraine

Robert Homans in Los Angeles July 7, 2020

The resignation of Yakiv Smolii as governor of the NBU could be taken as the end of serious reforms in Ukraine and a "soft coup" that puts the old guard back in charge of the country

New lockdowns imposed in Eurasia to fight rising coronavirus cases

bne IntelliNews July 7, 2020

Several countries in Central Asia, the South Caucasus and the Western Balkans are seeing a strong rise in daily new cases after the easing of restrictions.

COMMENT: Five reasons why Zelenskiy is failing in Ukraine: Zelenskiy faces a political future that is no laughing matter

Melinda Haring deputy director of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council July 6, 2020

Volodymyr Zelenskiy's presidency seems to have gone off the tracks but no one is quite sure what is going on. Is he a puppet or just out of his depth? Melinda Haring of the Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council offers five theories.

Net foreign direct investment leaving Ukraine in 1Q20

bne IntelliNews July 5, 2020

There was a net outflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Ukraine in the first quarter of this year of $1,451mn, reversing the trend of inflows of the last several years, according to data from Ukrstat.

NBU lionises Smolii, clarifies cancellation of Eurobond decision

Ben Aris in Berlin July 4, 2020

The National Bank of Ukraine was in damage control mode on July 3 as it lionised its departing governor, Yakiv Smolii, and released more details of why a planned issue of a 12-year $1.75bn Eurobond was immediately cancelled on the news.

Governor Smolii’s departure from the NBU creates the risk of devaluation of the hyrvnia or default on its debt this year

Ben Aris in Berlin July 3, 2020

Ukraine’s Rada rapidly accepted the resignation of Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Yakiv Smolii on July 3, completing the process of his departure from the central bank. But his departure creates danger of devaluation or default

Suma Chakrabati leaves the EBRD a greener bank

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 3, 2020

Green financing reached close to 50% of the EBRD’s volume of investment in 2019, but as he leaves the bank Chakrabati warns of the need to put the green economy at the heart of the post-COVID recovery.

Ukraine cancels dollar bond sale after NBU governor resigns

bne IntelliNews July 2, 2020

Ukraine cancelled a planned offering of dollar-denominated Eurobonds after Yakiv Smolii stepped down as NBU governor citing a “systematic” campaign against the central bank.

COMMENT: Finding a third Musketeer to run the National Bank of Ukraine

Tim Ash of BlueBay Asset Management July 2, 2020

The governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Yakiv Smolii abruptly quit on July 1, sending a shock through the investment community. Now he has gone, who will replace him?

Ukraine’s NBU governor Smolii quits under pressure from oligarchs

Ben Aris in Berlin July 2, 2020

Yakiv Smolii, the governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), has quit his job, citing pressure from a “systematic” campaign against him and the central bank by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Real wages in Ukraine increased 1.4% y/y in May, after sliding 0.6% y/y in April

bne IntelliNews July 1, 2020

Real wages in Ukraine increased 1.4% y/y in May, after sliding 0.6% y/y in April, the State Statistics Service reported on June 30. The average monthly nominal wage rose to UAH10,542 a month ($393) from UAH10,430 in April.

COVID-19 second wave strikes parts of emerging Europe

bne IntelliNews June 30, 2020

WHO warns of a “very serious resurgence” that risks pushing healthcare systems “to the brink” in 10 countries from the region after lockdowns were eased.

Saakashvili says Russia "way ahead" of Ukraine in making reforms

bne IntelliNews June 29, 2020

In remarkably candid comments, former Georgian president and recently appointed head of Ukraine’s Reform Committee Mikheil Saakashvili said that Russia was “way ahead” of Ukraine in many key reforms.

International financial institutions scale back their support for Zelenskiy’s government over reform backsliding fears

bne IntelliNews June 28, 2020

Backsliding on reforms and rising political instability within Zelenskiy's administration have led Ukraine’s international donors to pare back their financial support until the government better demonstrates its commitment to the reform agenda.

Kolomoisky’s Ukrtatnafta oil company wins Defence Ministry fuel supply contract despite offering a price that is a third higher than the others

Ben Aris in Berlin June 25, 2020

Ukraine’s oil company Ukrtatnafta, which is controlled by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, has won a tender to supply the Ministry of Defence with 3,500 tonnes of aviation fuel despite asking a price that was almost a third higher than the lowest offer

COMMENT: Yanukovych’s “Own Goal;” Zelenskiy’s “Lesson Learned”

Robert Homans in Los Angeles June 25, 2020

In September 2013, at the Annual “YES” Conference in Yalta, former President Yanukovych said: ”We have to move toward European integration,” causing participants to dance on the beach. He didn't do it and sparked the Maidan revolution

Ukraine’s industrial production decline slows to 11.7% y/y in May

bne IntelliNews June 24, 2020

Ukraine’s industrial production fell by 11.7% in May y/y, less than April’s record y/y drop of 16.2%, according to the State Statistics Service