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Lukashenka inaugurated
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 23 Sep 2020
Belarus inaugurated Lukashenka for his 6th consecutive term. The ceremony was not announced in advance. Usually the event is trailed and broadcast live on TV.The public was taken by surprise. Small spontaneous protests took place.

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Russia and the West: Recent developments seal the split; economy to adjust
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - Report 23 Sep 2020
The Russian ruble remained under pressure for some time, aggravated recently by fears of the COVID-19 pandemic's regaining momentum (both in Russia and Western Europe) and potential new sanctions against Russia. It looks as though sanctions are mounting on Russia permanently, so the pressure on t...

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Russia's gold reserves highest ever
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 23 Sep 2020
On September 22 it was reported that Russian banks increased their gold reserves by 25% in August. Reserves are now 121 tonnes. That is 10% greater than the previous all time high in 2019. Gold reserves are now worth 7.5 billion so said the Central Bank of Russia.The rise in gold reserves could b...

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KUWAIT: Moody’s downgrades two notches as politics threaten liquidity
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 23 Sep 2020
The downgrade came amidst an impasse between the government and parliament about financing the large deficit, either through a debt law or by drawing on sovereign wealth. This is part of broader governance challenges that make it nearly impossible to implement fiscal reform. We see a potential sc...

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Aeroflot domestic passengers back to normal numbers
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 23 Sep 2020
On September 21 Aeroflot published data showing that their domestic passenger numbers in August 2020 were almost as high as in August 2019. That was 3.6 million Russia's national airline still has far fewer international passengers than is usual for the time of year. It is 90% down YoY. As border...

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Yandex buying a bank
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 23 Sep 2020
On September 21 it was announced in the London Stock Exchange that Yandex is purchasing a new Russian bank called Tinkoff. The price is USD 5.5 billion. The agreement has not yet been inked. Tinkoff shareholders have to vote on it.Yandex will buy Tinkoff shares for USD 27.64 apiece. That is a 6% ...

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Bolsonaro’s speech at the UN prioritizes environmental policy and the pandemic
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 22 Sep 2020
During his opening speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, President Jair Bolsonaro sought to address two issues for which Brazil is highly criticized in the international community: environmental policy and management of the coronavirus pandemic. It was a defensive speech, stating th...

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ECJ approves sanctions on Russia
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 22 Sep 2020
The European Court of Justice ruled on September 17 that restrictive measures on Russian hydrocarbons are lawful. These are sanctions in retaliation for Russian actions viz. Ukraine. The ECJ is the supreme court of the European Union. The sanctions have been in place since 2014. EU countries cann...

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Today's Monetary Council reflected a somewhat awkward situation
HUNGARY - In Brief 22 Sep 2020
In the first place, this was present in the revised numbers of the MNB's macro forecast, as today's rate-setting meeting was one to discuss the quarterly inflation report, the details of which will be made available on Thursday this week. The Bank's GDP growth forecast for this year was cut very ...

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The Fiscal Risk Clouding the Horizon
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Forecast 22 Sep 2020
The quality of a projection depends on the reliability of the indications given by the government about its economic policy bearings. If it respects the spending cap and wins approval of new reforms that strengthen the fiscal anchor, the economic recovery will be facilitated. But the speed of the...

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China virus data – week ending September 21, 2020
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 22 Sep 2020
There was a softening on the retail side, with slower auto and property sales, and a fall in metro rail activity. Film attendance trended higher for most of the week, which is positive for continued confidence in domestic safety measures. Traffic congestion was higher, as well.

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Cyprus vetoes EU sanctions on Belarus
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 22 Sep 2020
On September 21 EU leaders on Brussels were unable to impose sanctions on Belarus due to Cypriot objections. Cyprus is the smallest EU member but all EU members have the right to veto sanctions. Belarussian opposition leader Svitlana Tikhanouskaya called for sanctions. Latvia and Lithuania are ad...

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Russia reopens flights to 5 counties
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 22 Sep 2020
On September 20 Moscow announced that flights will be resumed to South Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus from September 27. Citizens and permanent residents of aforementioned countries shall be permitted to enter Russia. These four nations are also accepting Russian citizens. Russia alrea...

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A fast but uncertain recovery
CHILE - Report 21 Sep 2020
Economic activity continues to be hit hard by the pandemic, but seems to be recovering faster than expected. In July, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (IMACEC) surprised on the upside. In line with the IMACEC, the gradual recovery in retail sales continued in July, and the result surprised ...

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Politics: Voters more critical, AMLO approval drops
MEXICO - Report 21 Sep 2020
The latest GEA-ISA quarterly survey of opinion among the country’s registered voters recorded a continuing shift toward increasingly negative perceptions of the current state of the country and the extent to which the economic crisis is upending people’s lives six months into the pandemic. Since ...

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The government counts on economic conditions potentially remaining bad in 2021
HUNGARY - In Brief 21 Sep 2020
The are two new pieces of evidence for this. One is the weekend decision to extend the existing mandatory moratorium on the service of bank debt generated before March 2020. As PM Orbán announced on Saturday, the moratorium, which affects 1.6 million individuals and 60k enterprises in the context...

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The debate on Renda Brasil and other weekly topics
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 21 Sep 2020
Senator Márcio Bittar (MDB-AC), rapporteur of the budget, may present a proposal creating a social program to replace the emergency aid payments. On Saturday, September 26, electoral advertising begins ahead of the November municipal elections. This week's Talking Points * Evaluation of po...

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Essential CIS Politics: September 2020
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 21 Sep 2020
* Russia’s economic recovery has continued slowly but there are energy price worries. * Nord Stream 2 continues, with some calls for Germany to cancel it. * In Belarus the president is holding on and has secured Russian support. * In Ukraine, the ceasefire is at risk.

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Belarus will repay USD 330 million to Gazprom
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 21 Sep 2020
On September 20 Russian Finance Minister Siluanov announced that Belarus will use some of the latest 1.5 billion to repay a debt to Russian state gas company Gazprom. USD 1 billion will be lent to Belarus by the end of December 2020. A further USD 500 million will be lent early in 2021. Belarussi...

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Deflation and renewed closure likely to support further loosening
ISRAEL - Report 21 Sep 2020
Inflation in August surprised on the downside, with core inflation moving deeper into negative territory (-0.5% y/y). Despite recent indicators of growth acceleration, the renewed closure will clearly reverse this trend. The combination of slowing growth and pronounced deflation support a more ac...