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Country Insights

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Russia attempts political advertising crackdown
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 07 Sep 2019
The Russian Communication Agency announced on September 6 that it was demanding that Facebook, Google and other internet companies must stop political advertisements in Russia on September 7 and 8. This is because local elections are taking place on Sunday 8 September. The government is increasin...

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New Ukrainian cabinet appointed
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 07 Sep 2019
On August 29 President Zelensky appointed a new prime minister named Oleksiy Honcharuk. At 35 Honcharuk is the youngest person to hold the office. Zelensky has persuaded the Rada (Parliament) to approve his cabinet. Honcharuk is a lawyer who has headed various governmental agencies. He is a techn...

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PRC influence on HK Corporates: The case of HSBC
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 06 Sep 2019
The statement Thursday September 4 that Carrie Lam will withdraw the Extradition Bill may soften but is unlikely to end the opposition protests among students. Meanwhile, with or without the end to the protests, we see increasing signs of intrusion into Hong Kong business by the PRC. As a result ...

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Russia unveils plan for economy in its Far East
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 06 Sep 2019
On September 4 the Russian Government announced a plan to boost economic growth in the Russian Far East. The program involves bringing in USD 174 billion in investment from the private sector by 2025. In 2012-18 the region received USD 106 billion in private investment. Therefore the new target m...

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Inflation views
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 06 Sep 2019
Government yesterday released inflation data for August showing the headline rate dropping from 2.4% in July to 1.7%, largely due to base effects as well as lower fuel and electricity prices.The latest inflation print is in line with our forecast and we reiterate here what we said in our outlook ...

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MNB governor calls for looser fiscal policy, pleased with the current policy line of the MNB
HUNGARY - In Brief 06 Sep 2019
MNB governor Matolcsy spoke yesterday at the annual conference of the Hungarian Society of Economics. In his usual visionary style, he enlisted a large number of negative international phenomena from Brexit and East-West trade war to the weak German economy, Italy's problems, North-South conflict...

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The current account deficit widens further in Q2 2019
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 05 Sep 2019
Earlier this week, the South African economy escaped a technical recession in the second quarter of 2019 when the real GDP growth numbers showed an increase of 3.1% q/q. However, today, the South African Reserve Bank released the current account of the balance of payments data, indicating yet an...

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Prime rate cut by 0.5 ppt down to 16.5%; Premier demands cheaper loans
UKRAINE - In Brief 05 Sep 2019
The NBU keeps easing course. The NBU Board approved one more policy rate cut by 0.5 ppt down to 16.5%. Slowing inflation, strong hryvnia, finalized election cycle with encouraging appointments to the Cabinet leave no reason to keep prime rate elevated. Still many experts were disappointed with mo...

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Russia sells arms to India worth USD 14.5 billion
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 05 Sep 2019
Russia is selling arms of all sorts to India. The total has cost USD 14.5 billion in 2018 and 2019 combined. Frigates, light arms and an S-400 missile defense system are all part of the order. India sent a delegation to the economic forum in Vladivostok. It was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi...

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Political uncertainty hampers growth
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Forecast 05 Sep 2019
Economic activity growth declined in Q2. GDP expansion reached 3.7%, compared with Q2 2018, and notably below the 5.7% observed in Q1. The result for H1 was growth of 4.7%. There is a broad consensus that political uncertainty has been the main cause for this slowdown. In July IMAE growth rebound...

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Private companies might be allowed to operate in the Russian Arctic
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 04 Sep 2019
On September 4 the Russian Government announced that it may permit private companies to work in the Arctic providing services to oil and gas companies. The oil and gas sector in the Arctic is still all state sector. The announcement was made at an economic forum held in Vladivostok on Russia's Pa...

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Russian court orders seizure of stake in Vostochny Bank
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 04 Sep 2019
Private equity company Baring Vostok's stake in Vostochny Bank has been seized by court order. 334 billion shares controlled by Baring Vostok have been taken. The Arbitration Court of Amur Region gave the order. The court's rationale was that Baring Vostok must be prevented from selling the share...

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Economics: Signs of an Economy Stalling
MEXICO - Report 03 Sep 2019
At the beginning of the month some observers were slightly relieved to hear that the preliminary reading of second quarter GDP showed some growth on a seasonally adjusted basis compared both to the first quarter of 2019 and the April through June period of 2018. But at month’s end Inegi released ...

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Over the hump?
PHILIPPINES - Forecast 03 Sep 2019
Domestic economic growth has slowed, and external clouds are gathering. Can GDP growth rebound to above 6%? The next 18 months will depend upon greater accommodation from fiscal and monetary policies, as well as more clarity in government reform efforts to counter the many downside risks. An...

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From Macri’s failed political strategy to Fernández’s wishful economic thinking
ARGENTINA - Report 03 Sep 2019
Since he lost the August 12th primary, President Mauricio Macri’s policies have changed drastically: he’s been forced to implement measures suggested by his victorious challenger, Alberto Fernández, who is now on track to win the Oct. 27th general election to become the country’s next president. ...