Country Insights

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Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba resigns following election of Democratic Alliance’s new Federal Council Chairperson, Helen Zille
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 21 Oct 2019
After the August 2016 municipal elections, Mr. Herman Mashaba assumed office as the Mayor of Johannesburg . He was a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition party to the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Mr. Mashaba’s taking office as the Mayor of Johannesburg meant that...

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​Regarding the recent disturbances in several cities in Chile
CHILE - In Brief 21 Oct 2019
The impact on financial markets so far has been limited. At 10:50 am the Chilean peso depreciated about 2% against the dollar, in a context in which the exchange rate in several other countries were also increasing, although by somewhat smaller magnitudes. Short-term rates fell 6bp and longer-ter...

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The PLD is formally divided
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 21 Oct 2019
Last night, the PLD was formally divided. In a televised speech, former President Leonel Fernández announced his resignation as President and as a member of the PLD. In the speech, Fernandez, who served as President three terms, used very hard qualifications against President Medina and his group...

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Russia steps up nuclear weapons tests
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 21 Oct 2019
Over the past week Russian nuclear submarines have been conducting drills. Russia is keen to let NATO know that as Trump cancelled the INF the Russians can respond. President Putin was present to witness the exercises. The exercises are called Grom 2019. The government eagerly released press stat...

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Growth, international economy and reforms
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 21 Oct 2019
The discussions at the annual IMF meetings always stimulate improvement of scenarios and forecasts. During the last one, the consensus was that the global economy would continue decelerating, largely due to the risks from geopolitical conflicts, the US-China trade war and the Brexit. Hence, the g...

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​Gulf weekly: Putin visits, Aramco postpones, Divided Zone restart nears
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 20 Oct 2019
Global attention was focused on the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria, where the US has negotiated a temporary ceasefire but Russia may have a bigger role in determining the longterm term outcome. By chance this happened in a week when Putin was visiting Saudi and the UAE, both of which are deep...

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​Tourist arrivals fall for the fourth consecutive month
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 20 Oct 2019
Official figures of the arrival of tourists by air indicate that the bad moment of tourism is being longer than expected. In September, the total number of arrivals fell by 50 thousand (17%) compared to September 2018. It was the fourth consecutive month in which arrivals declined compared to las...

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Brace for an extra eventful week
TURKEY - Report 20 Oct 2019
The “ceasefire” protocol signed between US VP Mike Pence and President Erdogan was dead on arrival, as parties could not even agree on the definition of the safe zone. Both sides have enough ammo to claim by the deadline (Tuesday, October 22, midnight) the ceasefire agreement has been violated, a...

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Ukrainian bank stays in public hands
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 20 Oct 2019
A London court ruled that PrivatBank can pursue claims against its former owners Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov. The two men have had USD 1.9 billion frozen worldwide. They have failed to have this asset freeze overturned. The news is welcome in Ukraine just as the country is negotiating...

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CHLE : Massive protest and state of emergency declared
CHILE - In Brief 19 Oct 2019 1 response
On Friday night Sebastián Piñera declared a state of emergency for Santiago, following the worst riot Chile’s capital has seen since the return to democracy in 1990. Several buses and nineteen metro stations were burned, stores and banks looted, and the headquarters of Enel, an energy company, se...

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Peace talks between Ukraine and Russia face obstacles
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 19 Oct 2019
Despite the Steinmeier Formula peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are ongoing. Over 10 000 people protested against the formula in Kyiv on October 14. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that the negotiations in Normandy in November will be the final opportunity to implement the M...

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South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan 2019-2030 finally released
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 18 Oct 2019
Following the Cabinet’s approval of the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) yesterday, Gwede Mantashe (Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy) announced the energy strategy earlier today. This policy blueprint for the electricity sector clarifies a proposed energy mix for the country until 2030.

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Russian Audit Chamber says draft budget is far too optimistic
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 17 Oct 2019
The Russian Audit Chamber published a damning analysis of the 2020-22 draft budget on October 11. The Audit Chamber said that the growth forecast is pie in the sky. Claims of rising incomes are bogus and spending plans are unrealisticThe draft federal budget is predicated on a GDP growth of 1.7% ...

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Eskom disappoints the nation as it implements unexpected load shedding, while the nation waits to learn about its future
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 17 Oct 2019
During his opening address at the Financial Times Africa Summit in London earlier in the week, President Ramaphosa declared that the government would soon give a deliberation on how the ailing power utility’s (Eskom) debt would be dealt with. As such, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan sp...

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The long overdue IRP approved by the Cabinet to be released on October 18 - but will it create certainty in the energy sector?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 17 Oct 2019
Electricity in South Africa (SA) is exclusively provided by the state-owned Eskom, supplying close to 95% of the electricity in the country – which is about 45% of Africa’s total electricity generation. Moreover, SA’s power generation is predominantly dominated by coal as well as nuclear energy (...