Country Insights

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Kazakhstan disputes claim of COVID-19 surge
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 10 Jul 2020
On July 9 China warned its citizens that coronavirus is rising alarmingly in several Kazakh cities. The Kazakh Government vehemently denied this. The cities are Atyrau, Aktobe and Shymkent. The government acknowledges hundreds of pneumonia cases in these cities. That is very strange for this time...

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​GULF WEEKLY: PMIs rise with reopenings, Dubai firms junked and UAE government restructured
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 10 Jul 2020
A skimmable summary of key developments overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Headlines include: * Oil demand remains uncertain but OPEC+ will raise August output, and Libyan exports are restarting. * PMIs rose in most of the region and signaled a return to expansion ...

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Current account surplus narrowed in 2Q20 but is set to widen in 2H20
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 10 Jul 2020
The Russian Central Bank reported that in 1H20, the current account surplus was at $22.3bn, which was a little different from the surplus in 1Q20 ($21.7). This implies that in 2Q20, the current account surplus was at near-zero ($0.6bn). Note that these estimates are preliminary and may change goi...

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Where to Philippine peso?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 10 Jul 2020
During Wednesday’s pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) that focused on the Duterte administration’s economic achievements this past year, one chart in particular caught our attention. Presented by BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, the bar chart shows the Philippine peso alongside eight other east ...

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Annual inflation increased to 3.2% in June; 3.4% in July is expected
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 10 Jul 2020
Consumer price growth in June 2020 was 0.22% m/m and 3.2% yoy vs 0.27% mm and 3.0% yoy in May. Food inflation was 0.2% m/m (4.0% yoy) vs 0.16 (3.3% yoy) in May. Food inflation was the main driver of consumer prices increase in June. Prices for cereals increases by 2.3% m/m and gasoline prices inc...

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US sanctions and the RMB
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 10 Jul 2020
Reuters has reported that the Chinese banks are considering alternatives to the US dollar in case the US imposes sanctions on the banks for their support of the National Security Law in Hong Kong. As Reuters noted in an article posted on July 10: "In worst-case scenarios under consideration by...

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The military party speaks up
VENEZUELA - In Brief 09 Jul 2020
In his July 5, Independence Day, speech Vladimir Padrino, ratified as minister of Defense for sixth year in a row, positioned the Armed Forces (FANB) as an anti-imperialist, revolutionary, and Bolivarian corps that will never allow the democratic opposition led by Juan Guaidó to exert political p...

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Polls point to stability for Bolsonaro
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 09 Jul 2020
The DataPoder360 poll found that the negative (bad/very bad) assessment of the Jair Bolsonaro government dropped by two points (48% to 46%), a number that is within the margin of error. Positive evaluations (excellent/good), in turn, remained stable at 29%, as did “regular” evaluations (20%). Whe...

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Ecuador webinar featuring Magdalena Barreiro - On the road to the presidential election amid Covid-19 and debt renegotiations
ECUADOR - Report 09 Jul 2020
In our webinar, live from Quito, former Finance Minister Magdalena Barreiro discusses the impact of the coronavirus crisis on Ecuador’s macro, political and fiscal situation, as well as the latest developments in the ongoing debt renegotiations​.

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Russian governor charged with murder
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 09 Jul 2020 1 response
On July 9 the Governor of Khabarovsk Region has been arrested on suspicion of several murders. Governor Sergei Furgal is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. Despite its name this party is seen as a very nationalistic. It is the third biggest party in the country and is pro-Putin.Furgal is a...

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US penalizes Amazon for Crimean trade
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 09 Jul 2020
On July 8 the US Government fined Amazon for sending goods to Crimea. The US has sanctions on companies operating there and a ban on trade with the peninsula. Crimea is recognized by most countries as Ukrainian territory but it has been claimed by Russia since 2014. Amazon has been fined USD 113 ...

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Denmark green lights Nord Stream 2
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 09 Jul 2020
On July 6 Denmark granted permission for a pipeline from Russia under Denmark's territorial waters. The pipeline is being laid with less sophisticated technology than originally planned because US sanctions have made it impossible to access the most advanced ships. Only 120 km of pipeline remain ...

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Fiscal policy does not have much room left to support the economy
HUNGARY - In Brief 09 Jul 2020
The central government's cash deficit rose to HUF 1837bn or an annualised 8% of GDP in H1 after one of the highest ever monthly deficits, HUF 786bn, was reported for June. Even after adjustment for the EU reimbursement gap, an approach to bring the cash number closer to the accrual-terms ESA-2010...

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AFP reform passes first major hurdle
CHILE - In Brief 09 Jul 2020 1 response
The House of Deputies last night voted 95-25 (with 31 abstentions) in favor of going forward with a constitutional amendment that allows Chileans to claim up to 10% of their private pensions savings. The bill will now move on to the Deputies’ Constitution Committee, and then on to the Senate, but...

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Inflation accelerated but with no surprise
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 09 Jul 2020
Rosstat announced that in June inflation accelerated to 3.2% y-o-y, as it reached 0.2% m-o-m. This acceleration looks moderate, as retail sales seemingly started to recover as of lockdown restrictions have been eased. Note that in June 2019, monthly inflation was at zero. It was rather unusual fo...