Country Insights

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Mono-party ruling: Servant of the People takes an absolute majority in the parliament
UKRAINE - In Brief 22 Jul 2019
Election committee has processed 2/3 of votes and we already can see that presidential party Servant of the People has won an absolute majority at the parliament. They have at least 249 seats while only 226 needed to appoint the Cabinet. Attracting independent MPs gives Zelenskiy constitutional m...

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SAUDI: IMF forecasts are optimistic - we expect slower growth and larger deficits
GULF COUNTRIES - In Brief 22 Jul 2019
The IMF just completed its annual Article IV consultation in the Kingdom. We have a broadly similar assessment of recent economic performance, but the IMF 2019 forecasts for both non-oil real GDP growth and the fiscal deficit are a little optimistic. In the longer term, we also see slower growth ...

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Exit polls: presidential party wins the parliament
UKRAINE - In Brief 21 Jul 2019
Presidential party Servant of the People got 43.9% of support according to exit-polls which is near 126 MP seats out of 225 seats on the party lists. On FPTPs we have reports from the fields that candidates from presidential party have an overwhelming majority. Some journalists estimated that Ser...

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The week of the “400s”
TURKEY - Report 21 Jul 2019
Turkey is formally expelled from the F-35 fighter jet program, but insists on deploying S-400s, largely because Trump demurs at substantive sanctions. This week the visit of a high-level US delegation to Ankara and Trump’s meeting with the US Senators could reshape the crisis. Politics section...

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Russia cosying up with Iran
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 21 Jul 2019
Iran and Russia share Tiyas Air Base in Syria. They are comrades in arms: fighting for Assad's government and fighting against ISIS. Russian aircraft have airlifted Iranian equipment to Syria.In June 2019 President Rouhani met Putin in Kyrgyzstan. This summit was the Shanghai Co-operation Organiz...

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President Ramaphosa's Challenges Getting Close and Personal
SOUTH AFRICA - In Brief 19 Jul 2019
Ever since assuming the high office of the country, President Ramaphosa has not been short of challenges. Aside from the enormous task of turning the economy around and restoring the integrity and operational efficacy of the machinery of the state which had been left in a poor financial and admin...

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A batch of policy initiatives to combat the current financial stress
INDIA - Report 19 Jul 2019
A package of policy initiatives aimed at addressing the current financial stress came out from the RBI, SEBI and the Ministry of Finance from June 27 to July 6. We look at the stock price response of large private financial firms. The impact is somewhat negative. There may be an element of procyc...

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Russian National Wealth Fund might be used for credit
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 19 Jul 2019
The Russian Parliament has approved a bill that permits the use of the National Wealth Fund (NWF) to give credit for export. This is unprecedented but is probably consistent with the remit of the NWF. The NWF has often lent money to Russian companies if the NWF's holdings are over 7% of GDP. The ...

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Essential CIS Politics: July 2019
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - Report 19 Jul 2019
* Russian economic growth remains unimpressive but a recession seems unlikely. * Widespread protests in Russia have been easily contained, and the authorities have been uncharacteristically lenient. * The new Kazakh president’s first full term has gotten off to a difficult start, with many...

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Ukrainian conflict de-escalating
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 19 Jul 2019
On July 18 the Ukrainian Government agreed to exchange prisoners with the rebels. Ukraine is letting out 208 people in return for only 69 who will be released by the rebels. It seems the rebels are doing better out of this. The negotiations were brokered by the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk. ...

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​QATAR: Moody's credit opinion hints at an upgrade path
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 18 Jul 2019
Underlying trends in Moody’s latest credit opinion point towards a potential upgrade path, despite some negative revisions to its economic forecasts. This is because Qatar's “indicative” rating is now at its highest in at least three years, and we expect it will improve further, creating room for...

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Revisions are due everywhere, from GDP to fiscal and monetary policy
HUNGARY - Forecast 18 Jul 2019
Compared to our previous medium-term forecast, released in April, there are no fewer than five areas where material revisions seem to be justified. First, we are raising our forecast for this year’s GDP, despite maintaining the view that growth should indeed decelerate in H2 and next year. Second...

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South Africa’s interest rate cut finally arrives
SOUTH AFRICA - Report 18 Jul 2019
On Thursday (18 July 2019), the nation waited with bated breath on the announcement of the interest rate decision by the Governor of the Reserve Bank (SARB), Mr Lesetja Khanyago. There was a general expectation for the central bank to cut interest rates by 25 basis points after keeping them uncha...

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Russia considering constitutional amendments
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 18 Jul 2019
Vyacheslav Volodin, the Speaker of the Russian Parliament, has proposed amending the constitution to transfer some president prerogatives to the Parliament. Volodin's idea has not yet taken the form of draft legislation. Volodin said that his proposal will enable the state to enact social justice...

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One more rate cut: down to 17.0%
UKRAINE - In Brief 18 Jul 2019
As expected, the NBU Board approved one more policy rate cut by 0.5 ppt down to 17.0%. The hryvnia's strengthening as well as inflation's easing are behind the decision. The political cycle also appeared to be much smoother than any predicted. The next meeting of the NBU Board will be on Septembe...