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Russia withdraws from Open Skies
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 16 Jan 2021
On January 16 Moscow announced that it is no longer bound by the Open Skies Treaty. The United States withdrew from it in 2020. The US and Russia have been exchanging accusations of breaching the treaty for years. Russia forbade flights over Kaliningrad.US allies in Europe wanted to maintain the ...

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Natural Gas prices rising in Ukraine
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 16 Jan 2021
Since the start of 2021 there have been demonstrations in Ukraine against the hike in natural gas prices. The market has been liberalized. In Ukraine temperatures fall to -20 C at this time of the year.President Zelensky vowed to cut gas prices by 30%. Naftogaz said it will cut prices to USD 0.25...

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Sberbank's profit USD 10 billion 2020
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 16 Jan 2021
On January 15 Russia's largest bank published its profit for 2020. The profit was 7.7% down on 2019. The bank is state owned and has a market capitalization of USD 88 billion.Profits for Sberbank collapsed in Q2 2020. Profits have since rebounded.The bank aimed to make USD 13.6 billion 2020 but f...

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Russian tax service: our citizens have USD 180 billion abroad
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 16 Jan 2021
On January 14 the Federal Tax Service provided an estimate of the assets that Russian citizens hold in other countries. These assets are kept in 700 000 accounts. The figures are based on information reported by Russian citizens in tax returns and information sharing between governments. The true...

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The hyperinflation menace remains near
VENEZUELA - Report 15 Jan 2021
Our central inflation forecast scenario has inflation slowing down a bit in 2021, to 2,200 percent this year from 2,500 percent last year. Black market dollars appreciate against the bolivar by 1,700 percent and sell for 20 million bolivars by year end but lose bolivar purchasing power for the fo...

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​GULF WEEKLY: Oman issues bonds and appoints heir, Kuwait’s cabinet resigns, Covid rates rise
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 15 Jan 2021 1 response
A skimmable summary of key developments overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Headlines include: * The UAE has reached 14% vaccination but covid infection rates have tripled in two weeks. * The core of Neom is envisaged as a 170km futuristic zero-carbon linear city call...

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Retail sales and China’s “Super Cities”
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 15 Jan 2021
Retail sales have declined due to Covid. However, we expect a strong pick-up in sales as the impact of Covid weakens because of several factors. First, the growth in household bank deposits has remained strong; and second, the majority of national retail sales occur in a small subset of the count...

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Deflation of 0.7% in 2020
ISRAEL - In Brief 15 Jan 2021
December’s CPI surprised on the downside, declining 0.1% m/m (-0.7% y/y compared to -0.6% in November). Core inflation (the CPI excluding energy items and fresh produce) reached -0.4% y/y in December, following -0.2% in November. The main inflation surprise came from the housing rental item (17.2...

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Dominican Government issues bonds for USD2.5 b as part of the financing of the public budget for 2021.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 14 Jan 2021
The Minister of Finance announced the issuance of sovereign bonds for USD2.5 b as part of the financing to be contracted in 2021. Of the total of bonds issued, USD1 b corresponds to the opening of a bond that matures in 2030 with a yield of 3.87% , while the remaining USD1.5 b corresponds to a ne...

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New macro data and an important statement from the MNB
HUNGARY - In Brief 14 Jan 2021
Really in brief, a few quite favorable new numbers are out, and the MNB has just said it is not planning policy changes in short term.In more detail, December CPI-inflation has been reported at 2.7% yoy, unchanged from the previous month. This means, of course, that the headline rate ended 2020 s...

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Kazakh elections lead to governing party solidifying power
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 14 Jan 2021
On January 11 Kazakhstan held a parliamentary election. As expected, the Nur Otan Party won most of the seats in the Mazhilis (parliament). Nur Otan (Radiant Fatherland) still has Nazarbayev as its chairman.The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) castigated the election as ...

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CPI inflation
INDIA - In Brief 14 Jan 2021
Through 2020, a great debate had raged on the question of inflation and the inflation targeting regime.Under the inflation targeting regime, headline inflation (i.e. year-on-year CPI inflation) is required to stay between 2 and 6 per cent. In December 2019, the bound was breached, when inflation ...

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The BoI commits to purchasing 30bn USD this year
ISRAEL - In Brief 14 Jan 2021
The Bank of Israel announced today that it will purchases 30bn USD in order to stem the forces supporting shekel appreciation. The shekel has appreciated rapidly since November, a trend which accelerated into January. 30bn USD is a significant amount (21bn were purchased in 2020) and could defini...

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The authorities return natural gas price regulation amid public protests
UKRAINE - In Brief 14 Jan 2021
The Cabinet returned price regulation for natural gas on January 13th. The decision was delivered on the heels of mass protests against tariffs’ increase. From January 2021 many gas distributing companies have increased natural gas prices for customers, substantially on the back of growing prices...

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OMAN: Raising up to $5bn in bonds and loans
GULF COUNTRIES - In Brief 14 Jan 2021
Today Oman is building a book for a bond issuance thought to be targeting $2-3bn. The bonds are a tap on the 2025 issuance from last October along with new 10 and 30 year tranches (Rt, BB). This follows the $2.5bn issued in October/November and comes at the same time that it has also mandated ban...