Country Insights

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​Gulf weekly: Kuwait’s government resigns and Aramco downsizes IPO
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 18 Nov 2019
The Gulf Weekly is intended as a skimmable summary of key developments, overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Key headlines include: * Aramco has scaled back its IPO to 1.5% at a $1.6-1.7trn on weak foreign demand. * Kuwait’s government resigned, amidst signs of a rift be...

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Belarus argues with Russia over warplanes
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 18 Nov 2019
On November 15 President Lukashenko of Belarus complained that Russia was charging an extortionate amount for military aircraft. He threatened to end a common border that the two had established. Su-30 SM fighters are being purchased by Belarus. According to Belarus they were offered the planes f...

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​No Christmas cheer on the horizon
TURKEY - Report 17 Nov 2019
After a very brief period of confusion, senior US Senators began to repeat sanctions threats if S-400 anti-missile systems are activated. Ankara’s official position is that they will be made operational, but the dropping of any reference to a deadline can be viewed as a slim hope that the process...

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Normandy format meeting agreed on Dec 9
UKRAINE - In Brief 16 Nov 2019
Yesterday, on November 15, President Office informed that meeting under Normandy format (France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine) will do happen on December 9. Over the last few months President Zelenskiy has been striving to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss potential ways of de-escal...

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​Chile’s constitutional deal
CHILE - In Brief 16 Nov 2019 1 response
After nearly a month of almost daily protest intermixed with sporadic violence (mostly arson and looting), practically the entire political spectrum has come together to agree on a process for designing and approving a new constitution. The agreement, signed by representatives of almost every pol...

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Is the end nigh for South African Airways?
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 15 Nov 2019
The embattled state-owned entity (SOE) South African Airways (SAA) is on the brink of collapse. It is understood that SAA desperately needs around R2 billion in order to fund its operations until the end of the current financial year, but Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has made it clear on several...

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October's CPI comes in at the low end of consensus
ISRAEL - Report 15 Nov 2019
October's CPI reached 0.4% m/m and 0.4% y/y (up slightly from 0.3% y/y last month), coming in at the low end of consensus, which was in the 0.4%-0.5% range. We also had expected 0.5% but two items surprised on the downside. Housing (rental prices), which makes up nearly 25% of the CPI, moderated ...

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Alibaba’s singles day: Does it signal consumer strength?
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 15 Nov 2019
Alibaba’s annual "singles day" is the largest day of online sales of goods in the world. It is viewed by some economists as a bellwether for the strength of the consumer sector in China. This, in turn, has ramifications for rebalancing of the economy from industrial production to the service sect...

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Ukraine’s GDP grew 4.2% y/y in 3Q, above expectations
UKRAINE - In Brief 15 Nov 2019
In 3Q 2019 Ukraine’s GDP grew 4.2% y/y slightly slowing from +4.6% y/y in 2Q. Still the result appeared to be much above expectations. We projected +3.1% for the third quarter, the NBU projected +3.5%. Poor industry performance (-1.0% y/y in 3Q) was the reason for modest estimate. However, it loo...

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Russian economy growing
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 14 Nov 2019
The Russian Statistical Agency (Rosstat) claimed that the Russian economy grew up 1.7% in 3Q of this year. This is a considerable improvement on Q2 when the figure was 0.9%. These statistics are to be treated with caution. Rosstat has a reputation for inflating positive figures. A new head of Ros...

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GDP growth accelerated in 3Q (+1.7% y-o-y; +0.9 in 2Q)
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 14 Nov 2019
Rosstat published its first preliminary estimate of 3Q19 GDP growth. According to Rosstat, the GDP increased by 1.7% y-o-y after +0.9% in 2Q19 and +0.5% in 1Q. It’s an acceleration as compared to 1Н19, which was extremely weak (+0.7% y-o-y). But overall economic activity stays relatively weak. We...

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The “Mais Brasil” Plan
BRAZIL ECONOMICS - Report 14 Nov 2019
Last week the Ministry of the Economy announced the so-called “Plano Mais Brasil” (“More Brazil Plan”), which consists of three proposed constitutional amendments (PECs): the Emergency PEC; Federative Pact PEC; and PEC of the Funds. The plan rests on four pillars: a) monitoring and control of pub...

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​A conservative budget 2020: the IMF should be happy
UKRAINE - In Brief 14 Nov 2019
Just on the day of the IMF mission arrival (Nov 14) Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in final version of spending plan 2020. The approved budget 2020 has a modest deficit target of 2.1% of GDP, which should please the IMF officers. Revenues are based on a GDP growth forecast of +3.7% y/y and infla...

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Q3 GDP data once again stronger than expected
HUNGARY - In Brief 14 Nov 2019
It is the well-known old pattern repeated again. Analysts swear that the economy is now definitely set to slow down markedly, but actual data eventually shows more robust growth than expected. Today's preliminary Q3 GDP growth figures were 1.1% qoq, 4.8% yoy, all on sda basis, marking the stronge...

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​Trump Erdogan summit: A waste of plane tickets
TURKEY - In Brief 14 Nov 2019
It is noon time in Turkey and it seems I wasted half a day to write my traditional post-summit brief on the Trump and Erdogan summit which appeared to be a waste of plane tickets for Erdogan and his large retinue.So far, there is no tantalizing background tidbits in Turkish press and what I can g...