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Country Insights

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Crimean parliament voted in merging with Russia: what Tatars will say?
UKRAINE - In Brief 06 Mar 2014
So, Crimean parliament moved closer the day of referendum (for March 16 from March 30) and decided that Crimea will join Russian Federation. To make matters worse the parliament announced nationalization of state property at the peninsular. All the hasty moves make us think that Moscow does not f...

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All Eyes on Ukraine
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 06 Mar 2014
The Russian leadership has been considering every option to keep Ukraine in the orbit of its influence for both rational and emotional reasons. However, a lack of real expertise or structured approach towards a Ukraine policy in Russia has resulted in over half a dozen government officials’ parti...

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​Erdogan admits meddling with judiciary, tender results
TURKEY - In Brief 05 Mar 2014 2 responses
I’m writing this note with a slack jaw and in a state of utter surprise. PM Erdogan admitted that he did instruct his former Justice Minister to lobby the High Court of Appeals to approve the verdict against Dogan Group chairman Aydin Dogan—he was later acquitted by the High Court. In a meeting w...

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Putin’s retreat: is everything over?
UKRAINE - In Brief 04 Mar 2014
Abkhazian scenario did not work with Ukraine. None believes in ‘evil Ukrainians’, no evidences of nationalists threatening Russians. At the same time, all media report that ‘unidentified’ gunmen are Russian soldiers – some soldiers even confirmed this fact openly to media. Against this backdrop t...

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“Hot. Cool. Yours.” Sochi 2014 Results
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - Report 04 Mar 2014
Executive Summary Events in the region are occurring quickly right now. We wrote this report last week in an upbeat mood after Russia topped the Olympic medals table. It now seems in the distant past after new developments in the Ukrainian crisis, a panic equity sell-off on Monday and rapid chang...

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Bank Rossii changes FX interventions’ rules; yesterday’s interventions totaled $10.5 bln
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 04 Mar 2014
Bank Rossii officially announced yesterday that rules for FX interventions were changed and will be further modified according to changing circumstances. Since March 3, 2014 accumulated interventions to move operational band for 5 kopecks are set $1.5 bln compared to $0.35 bln before. Operational...

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A Muddled Outlook
MEXICO - Report 04 Mar 2014
Executive Summary Economic indicators published over the course of February were mixed. Consumers and producers alike grew increasingly pessimistic through January, at least in part owing to higher taxes that took effect that month and which also helped to lower sales at supermarkets and departme...

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March Madness
TURKEY - Report 04 Mar 2014
Executive Summary March Madness took start with daily releases of audio recordings suggesting that Erdogan and his family are taking bribes. The tensions will escalate through the month, though we have very little evidence to measure how much the voter sentiment is affected. AKP should win by a 4...

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Headline OK, Details Not…
TURKEY - Report 03 Mar 2014
February CPI inflation came in at 0.4%, which meant a very slight increase in the 12-month rate to just below 8% from 7.8% a month earlier (Table 1; Graph 1). This is broadly in line with expectations and slightly lower than ours. But the underlying details are rather worrying. First, we had this...

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Bank Rossii raises key rate to 7% on Ukrainian crisis, equity markets plummet
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - In Brief 03 Mar 2014
On Saturday President Vladimir Putin asked permission from upper house of the parliament (The Federation Council) to approve use of military force in Ukraine due to “threat to citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, the personnel of the military contingent of the Russian Federation A...

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Actions review: nerve wracking play
UKRAINE - In Brief 02 Mar 2014
Though Putin already was granted permission to act officially, real military actions did not start yet. Russian troops keep teasing Ukrainian forces in Crimea trying to provoke more aggression. In particular, through the day Russian soldiers have been entertaining themselves by taking into besieg...

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Weekly Tracker: March 2-8
TURKEY - Report 02 Mar 2014
Executive Summary The Politics Author wishes to announce that he has changed his base-case scenario. He now expects political uncertainty to linger until the presidential elections in August. The trade deficit began to narrow in 12-month rolling terms in January, which should deepen in the coming...

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It’s a war
UKRAINE - In Brief 01 Mar 2014
Putin requested permission of the parliament to start military intervention. Effectively, this statement is equivalent to official announcement of war to Ukraine. Currently, we observe simultaneous large-scale destabilization at the southeast. In many cities pro-Russian forces organized large and...

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Crimean situation review: Putin’s provocations did not work so far
UKRAINE - In Brief 28 Feb 2014
Moscow is trying to launch Abkhazian scenario for Ukraine. After victory of Maidan it is critical for Vladimir Putin to take some revenge on Ukraine. Annexation of Crimea looks like his choice for revenge. Disposition in Crimea is very good for this plan: Russian-speaking population, Russian mili...

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GUATEMALA: Moderate Growth
CENTRAL AMERICA - Report 28 Feb 2014
Executive SummaryThe outlook for the Guatemalan economy 2014-2015 is similar to that of 2013. Real GDP growth is projected at 3.5%-4.0%; inflation will be within the 4% ± 1 p.p. of the Central Bank’s target range; and the exchange rate will stay at 7.90-8.10 quetzals per dollar. Interest rates wi...