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Ruling by European Court of Justice ruling threatens oil and gas supplies to the EU
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 15 Sep 2019
On September 11 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Gazprom will have limited access to Opal. Opal is a natural gas pipeline in Germany that is linked to Nord Stream which supplies gas to several EU countries. Germany wants Gazprom to be allowed to supply more gas whereas Poland does n...

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SAUDI: The big oil attack we’ve all been waiting for
GULF COUNTRIES - In Brief 14 Sep 2019
Reports suggest Houthi rebels successfully attacked a crude oil processing facility, handling 5m b/d of Saudi oil output. This is the largest outage in the history of the global oil sector. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has alleged Iran was directly behind the attack.Early indications are tha...

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Russian investments abroad almost double
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 14 Sep 2019
On September 13 it was reported in Vedomosti newspaper that Russian investment in foreign startups was USD 860 million in the first half of 2019. This is more than twice as much as in the first six months of 2018 (USD 418 million). In the first six months of 2019 Russian investors have put only U...

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Conference call on Mexico's 2020 budget proposal: Will fiscal discipline prevail in 2020?
MEXICO - Report 13 Sep 2019
​We invite you to our conference call on September 17th. Topics will include: What can the 2020 Budget Proposal tell us about Mexico's direction going forward? Can fiscal discipline be maintained while AMLO's key social projects advance? How will the parameters proposed in the budget impact the ...

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Conference call on Oil, politics & debt in the Gulf Coast Countries
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 13 Sep 2019
​We invite you to our conference call on September 25th. ​With the inclusion of all six GCC countries in the JP Morgan EMBI Indices and four of them in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, there is a growing focus on the risks and opportunities of investment in these countries. Although oil prices r...

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Russia considers peace talks with Ukraine
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 13 Sep 2019
On September 13 Russia said it is willing to participate on peace talks about the Ukrainian Conflict. The talks would take place in Paris but no date has yet been set. However, the Kremlin set some preconditions. The warring factions would have to disengage first and special status for Donbass mu...

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How important are Hong Kong bank loans for China?
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 13 Sep 2019
One of the arguments for China’s hands-off approach to Hong Kong has been the importance of Hong Kong as a source of capital. Today we look at the HK banks and ask two questions: 1) Are they significant for China? 2) What is their risk in case of a significant downturn in China?

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Russian Police arrest opposition
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 12 Sep 2019
On September 12 police raided 150 buildings associated with opposition campaigners. Veteran anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny has been arrested for the umpteenth time. Navalny's organization is called the Anti-Corruption Foundation. It has been accused of money laundering. The Russian Par...

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​MPC cuts more than expected, less than feared
TURKEY - In Brief 12 Sep 2019
The Monetary Policy Committee lowered the policy rate (one-week repo rate) by 325 bps today to 16.5%, about 50-75 bps more than the median expectations (of 250-275 bps cut), but this was, in effect, a compromise move of sorts because the magnitude of the cut was less than feared (350+ bps) by mos...

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A battle of wills
PERU - Report 12 Sep 2019
Since President Martín Vizcarra stunned Congress six weeks ago with his request for early general elections, Peru has been immersed in a political tug-of-war. While the president accuses Congress of dwarfing his plans and dragging its feet over political and judicial reforms, the congressional ma...

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Russian net public debt is down to zero
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 11 Sep 2019
Putin has always taken debt very seriously indeed. In 1998 Russia was a few billion dollars short of meeting its repayments and the financial system was wrecked as a result. It appears that Putin must have vowed that he would never let this recur. Therefore he pursued a policy of iron fiscal disc...

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Georgia appoints a new Prime Minister
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 11 Sep 2019
A new prime minister has taken office in the Republic of Georgia. Georgi Gakharia, a member of the ruling Georgian Dream Party, became prime minister on September 8. Gakharia, 44, previously served as interior. He has been denounced as a Moscow stooge by the opposition. He studied at Lomonosov Un...

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The forint went to a new record low again
HUNGARY - In Brief 11 Sep 2019
This morning, the forint weakened to EURHUF 332.15, a new record low. Apparently, yesterday's inflation data, which signalled the very likely continuation of loose central bank policy, and the rather unexpectedly revealed conflict between governor Matolcsy and finance minister Varga, had an impac...

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Castillo will face former President Fernandez in the PLD primaries
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 10 Sep 2019
Gonzalo Castillo has been selected, on behalf of the Danilo Medina faction, to run against former president Leonel Fernández in the PLD primaries on October 6. Castillo, who was Medina's public works minister for over seven years, has a limited political history, but has been very loyal to Medina...

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Two appointments that come as wonderful news
COLOMBIA - In Brief 10 Sep 2019
Juan Pablo Zárate steps down from the board of the Central Bank and returns to his old post as Deputy Finance Minister. Undoubtedly one of the most influential members of the board during his 10-year tenure, Mr. Zárate becomes Minister Carrasquilla’s wingman in the midst of a closely-monitored an...

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August CPI-inflation somewhat mixed, but more good news than bad
HUNGARY - In Brief 10 Sep 2019
The headline rate fell to 3.1% yoy from July's 3.3% yoy, mainly, though not exclusively, on lower food prices, on account of which consumer prices fell by a marginal 0.1% mom. The latter was partly seasonal, given the typically beneficial impact of the summer season on food prices, but not entire...

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Bank of Russia cuts key policy rate
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 10 Sep 2019
On September 6 the Bank of Russia lowered its key policy rate by 25 basis points. It is now 7%. This was widely anticipated. The move was actuated by a persistent slowing of inflation as well as poor economic growth. Inflation is now down to 4.3% YoY in August. The Bank of Russia (CBR) has a targ...

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The Parallel Pension Plan PEC may stay on paper and other weekly topics
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 09 Sep 2019
The president of the Senate, Davi Alcolumbre (DEM-AP), is working on building a consensus for the first round vote on Pension Reform on the Senate floor. State finance secretaries are presenting suggestions to Congress on Tax Reform. President Jair Bolsonaro has until Thursday, September 12, to s...

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A shot of realism
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Forecast 09 Sep 2019
Until recently, many observers believed that with the approval of the pension reform, the real would appreciate and GDP growth would accelerate. However, there has been a wave of downward revisions of the growth projections for 2020 (for 2019 the consensus remains around 0.8%), and instead of str...

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Mexico's government wants to have its cake in 2020 (fiscal discipline) and eat it too
MEXICO - In Brief 09 Sep 2019
Mexico’s government just published its macroeconomic outlook and fiscal plan for 2020. In our view it presents a very optimistic prospect on both accounts. Most likely next year’s economic growth will be below 2%, the fiscal deficit higher than the government foresees (2.7%-3.0% of GDP) and the p...