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Central government cash deficit slightly below target in full-year 2019
HUNGARY - In Brief 09 Jan 2020
The central government's cash deficit was announced by the Finance Ministry today at HUF 453bn for December and HUF 1219bn for full-year 2019, the latter down from HUF 1445bn in 2018. This means a deficit of 2.6% of GDP last year, just slightly below the 2.7% target figure and more significantly ...

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Inflation slows to 4.1% ytd in 2019, much below the targeted level
UKRAINE - In Brief 09 Jan 2020
CPI slowed to 4.1% ytd or 7.9% y/y in 2019 down from +9.8% ytd or +10.9% y/y a year ago, beating any projections for the year. The NBU aimed +6.3% ytd but now consumer inflation is more than 2ppt below the target. Falling transportation prices (-2.4% ytd vs. +12.9% ytd in 2018), sliding utilities...

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Happy new year?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 09 Jan 2020
First, the good news. Government has a new P4.1 trillion budget which President Duterte signed into law early this week. This would normally be par for the course but, following last year’s delayed budget that became a major drag on economic growth, is clearly a positive development. Public spend...

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Gross reserves jump by $3.4 billion in December, touching 7-years highs
UKRAINE - In Brief 09 Jan 2020
The NBU reported $25.3 billion or 3.9 months of imports by the end of December 2019. It appeared to be an impressive jump by 15.4% or $3.4 billion just for one month (up by $4.5 billion since the year start). That high level of gross reserves has not been seen since November 2012. At the press-re...

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Pipeline from Russia to Turkey opens
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 08 Jan 2020
On January 8 the Turkstream pipeline was launched. The pipeline is 930 km across the Black Sea. The aim is to avoid Russian gas going via Ukraine. Gazprom is the company sending the gas. The capacity will be 15.75 bcm. Much of the gas will transit on the to the EU.This is the third pipeline extan...

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Ukrainian passenger plane crashes in Iran
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 08 Jan 2020
On January 8 a Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed in Iran. All 176 people aboard were killed. The cause of the disaster has not yet been determined. Already some people on the internet are making accusations of foul play. The crash comes at a moment of high tension between Iran and th...

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A gap has opened up between the performance of listed and unlisted companies
INDIA - Report 08 Jan 2020
Listed firms in India experienced buoyant growth from 1999 until about 2006, but their growth in the following period has been disappointing. In this note, we find that until 2012, listed and unlisted firms fared similarly. But since 2012, a significant gap has opened up between the two groups. U...

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Limited Iranian counterstrike seems credit positive for GCC
GULF COUNTRIES - In Brief 08 Jan 2020
Soon after midnight, Baghdad time, January 8, Iran fired over a dozen ballistic missiles at two of the main bases hosting US forces in Iraq. The missiles struck the main al-Asad base in the western Anbar region and another base near Erbil in the Kurdistan region. Initial reports, including from T...

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Why?
VENEZUELA - In Brief 07 Jan 2020 1 response
On 5 January 2020 the regime carried out a parliamentary coup aimed at replacing Juan Guaidó as president of the National Assembly (AN). It created a fictitious, fraudulent and obedient AN Board while, at the same time, a legitimate Board headed by Juan Guaidó emerged from the vote of 100 deputie...

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Ukraine worried about immigration
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 07 Jan 2020
Poland is considering making it easier for Ukrainian to gain permanent residency. There are over a million Ukrainians legally resident in Poland. The languages of the two neighbors are very similar. The Polish proposal got mixed reactions in Ukraine. Many Ukrainians want to move somewhere where t...

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China and the impossible trinity
CHINA FINANCIAL - Report 07 Jan 2020
Special points to highlight in this issue: • Capital flight continues to be a major issue for Beijing, with the “Errors and omissions” account at an all-time high. • The central bank wants to maintain relatively easy monetary conditions as it tries to work its way through China’s debt burden, b...

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The fiscal deficit reached 3.7% GDP in 2019
ISRAEL - In Brief 06 Jan 2020
The fiscal deficit in 2019 exceeded the planned deficit by 12bn ILS, due to a 9.2bn undershooting of revenues and a 2.8bn overshooting in spending. Expenditures of government ministries increased by 6.3% y/y, above the original planned budget of 5.1% growth in spending.Tax revenues were up 3.5% i...

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Rate stability expected this week with a more neutral bias
ISRAEL - Report 06 Jan 2020
GDP growth reached 3.3% in 2019 on strong domestic consumption and service exports. Growth in 2020 is expected to slow to 2.8% on weaker consumption due to a tighter fiscal position, offset by natural gas exports. Average wages are expanding by 2.5%-2.8% annual, supportive of PC demand and some m...

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Rate stability expected on Thursday with a more neutral bias
ISRAEL - In Brief 05 Jan 2020
GDP growth in 2019 reached 3.3% (1.3% per capita)Drivers: Private consumption increased by 3.9%, public consumption 4.1% and service exports 9.0%.Weak growth: industrial exports up only 1.5%, and investments in fixed assets up only 0.3%.The public debt/GDP ratio is expected to decline in 2019 (be...

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New year, old problems
TURKEY - Report 05 Jan 2020 1 response
After a brief update of the political scene, the New Year’s politics coverage starts with the Idlib crisis, which has pushed a quarter million refugees to Turkey’s borders. President Erdogan will try to hash out another ceasefire with Putin on the 8th of January meeting, but it might take some sa...

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Belarus and Russia reach oil deal
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 04 Jan 2020
On January 4 Belarus and Russia agreed to reopen Belarus' oil refineries. Belarus' state oil company Belneftkhim consented to renounce the supplier's premium that it has received on oil from Russia. Over 80% of Belarus' energy comes from Russia. Being cut off from this in midwinter would be very ...

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The old EPP game is starting again
HUNGARY - In Brief 04 Jan 2020
The European edition of Politico (politico.hu) wrote yesterday that according to an unnamed high-ranking representative of Fidesz, PM Orbán is seriously considering to pull Fidesz out of the European People's Party. A few days ago, a leading background figure in the Fidesz political family said o...

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​Gulf weekly: US assassinates Iranian general, Saudi GDP contracts
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 03 Jan 2020
The weekly is a skimmable summary of key developments by country, overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Headlines include: * Saudi GDP contracted by -0.5% y/y in Q3, a base effect due to high oil output a year before, but non-oil growth picked up to 4.3% (a five-year hig...

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US killing of Iranian general could re-escalate Gulf tensions
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 03 Jan 2020
Oil prices spiked by $2 after a US drone strike in Iraq assassinated one of Iran’s most powerful generals. The situation is evolving rapidly and puts at risk the Saudi-driven cycle of de-escalation that has seen an apparent pause in attacks on oil interests in the Gulf since September. There may ...

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Turkey troop deployment in Libya irks Russia
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 03 Jan 2020
On January 2 the Turkish Parliament voted to send troops to Libya to bolster the government there. This annoys Russia which is supporting the Libyan National Army under Khalifa Haftar. Turkey and Russia have co-operated fruitfully in Syria.