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Lukashenka talks to jailed opponents as he carries out a new crackdown
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 11 Oct 2020
On October 10 President Lukashenka met several leading opponents in prison. He met Victor Babarika who tried to run against the president and a Belarusian-American who is married to a US diplomat. This is the closest the president has come to negotiating with the opposition.On October 10 the UK w...

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The lack of a coherent fiscal policy could support a negative rating outlook
ISRAEL - In Brief 11 Oct 2020
Politics: The Director General of the MoF, Karen Turner, announced her resignation yesterday, five months after her appointment. She follows in the footsteps of the Director of the Budget and the General Accountant of the MoF. The professional team of the MoF is greatly troubled by the lack of an...

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Inflation picks up some
VENEZUELA - Report 11 Oct 2020
Consumer prices rose by 29 percent month on month in September, faster than the August pace of 22 percent. The central bank reports 28 percent in its first timely inflation report in five years. Our base case inflation forecast for 2020 is 2389 percent. The dollar price rises by 1,728% and cl...

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If something cannot go on forever...
TURKEY - Report 11 Oct 2020 1 response
Attentions in the political arena were briefly diverted to foreign affairs, which promise to be fleeting. The decision to “open” UN protected TRNC district of Varosha turned out to be nothing more than a ploy to help out the pro-Erdogan candidate in Sunday’s presidential elections. The testing of...

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Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to ceasefire
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 10 Oct 2020
On October 10 at 12 noon a ceasefire took effect in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Region. Moscow brokered talks on October 9. After 13 days of fighting the guns are silent. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was vital in securing the deal. He is half-Armenian. This ceasefire is a success for Moscow,...

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The Dominican government steps back and withdraws the proposed tax increase
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - In Brief 09 Oct 2020 2 responses
Under the justification of being a Government that listens to its citizens, President Luis Abinader, in a speech last night to the nation, made public the decision to withdraw the proposal of creating new transitory taxes for 2021. The latter tax reform was considered in the Public Budget Bill fo...

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Current account in surplus in 3Q, but it is artificially small
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - In Brief 09 Oct 2020
The Central bank reported that according to its preliminary estimate, the current account surplus reached $24.1 bn in 9m20, while in 3Q20, it was $2.5 bn. As according to the revised numbers, the current account balance temporarily turned into a deficit in 2Q20 (which was -0.5 bn), the ruble sinc...

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President of Kyrgyzstan offers to resign
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 09 Oct 2020
Sooroonbai Jeenbekov said on October 9 that he intends to resign once the cabinet has chosen a replacement. Disputed parliamentary elections on October 5 led to days of protests. The president lost control of some of the capital. He is unpopular partly due to his perceived closeness to Raimbek Ma...

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​GULF WEEKLY: Kuwait CP approved, PMIs rebound and Qatar eases investment restrictions
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 09 Oct 2020
A skimmable summary of key developments overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Headlines include: * Kuwait's parliament approved the Emir’s 80-year-old brother Meshal as Crown Prince. * PMIs rebounded back to expansion in UAE and Saudi; Qatar also expanded, but more slow...

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China’s weak recovery
CHINA ADVISORY - Report 09 Oct 2020
China’s recovery has been driven by rapid improvement in the Covid situation, along with monetary injections, state-driven fixed asset investment, and a strong property market. Fourth quarter activity will be constrained, however, by weak disposable income, continued unemployment, and growing deb...

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Inflation and the budget: two pieces of genuine good news today
HUNGARY - In Brief 08 Oct 2020
Consumer prices unexpectedly fell by 0.4% September, bringing down the yoy headline CPI-inflation rate to 3.4% from August's 3.9%. In addition, the central government budget produced a marginal, HUF 9bn cash deficit only in the same month, pushing the cumulative (nine-month) deficit ratio down to...

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With proposed tax increase, the new government's honeymoon is over
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Report 08 Oct 2020
With a proposal for the creation of new taxes incorporated into the 2021 proposed national budget, the customary honeymoon for a new government has ended even before President Luis Abinader has completed his first 100 days in power. The government has sent to Congress a 2021 budget that concomita...

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Guedes ruled out extending emergency aid; Maia supports him
BRAZIL POLITICS - Report 07 Oct 2020
The Minister of the Economy, Paulo Guedes, ruled out the possibility of extending the emergency aid to 2021. According to Guedes, the aid paid to informal workers will end in December. The minister believes a possible extension of the aid is unreasonable. The President of the Lower House, Rod...

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Mauricio Pozo, the New Minister of Finance
ECUADOR - In Brief 07 Oct 2020
Richard Martinez quits after finishing what we consider a remarkable job during the time he has been Minister of Finance. He achieved the renegotiation of private bonds, and has been able to consolidate a new agreement with the IMF that, given its conditions and scope, is quite unprecedented. Mau...

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Polish anti-monopoly commission fines Gazprom USD 7 billion
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 07 Oct 2020
On October 7 the Russian state gas company was fined in relation to the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. The Polish authorities said that the pipeline is bad for Polish consumers, is anti-competitive and imperils their energy security. Poland is worried about not getting enough LNG. They believe price hik...