Russia: EU to extend sanctions until March 15

The European Union noted that it will be rolling over the sanctions on some 200 Russian and Ukrainian separatist individuals to maintain pressure on Moscow for the full implementation of the Minsk II Accords of February 2015 by the end of the year. The decision will apparently be signed on during a meeting in mid-September,…

Ukraine: Clashes outside Parliament in Kiev

A controversial vote was passed in Kiev’s Parliament over the weekend, granting more autonomy to separatist regions in the east of the country, as per the agreement outlined in the Minsk II accords this past February. This did not stop pro-Ukrainian protesters from rioting after the vote was announced, killing one police officer and injuring…

Central Asia faces competitive devaluations of local currencies

The yuan’s devaluation and the subsequent fall of the tenge have been rippling through the global economy. Central Asian governments are now considering devaluing their own currencies to keep pace with the Kazakh tenge and Chinese RMB, primarily due to how exchange rates affect balance of trade. Export dependent countries like Kazakhstan with its oil…

Kazakhstan devalues tenge by record 23%

In a long-expected but still stunning move, Kazakhstan’s Central Bank has relinquished control of its exchange rate, allowing a free float. The currency immediately plunged against a basket of other world reserve currencies by some 23%, by far the largest drop in the history of the tenge currency, even surpassing last year’s unilateral 19% devaluation…

Chinese devaluation hits Russian exports

Russia’s “Pivot to the East” may have been ill-timed, with the Shanghai Composite Index suffering its worst decline in many years and a small but significant devaluation in the yuan means that Russian exports to China have lost part of their value. Russia’s economy has contracted 4.6% YoY, and China’s status as Russia’s largest trade…

China unexpectedly devalues its currency

With rapidly falling exports and huge ambitions, the Chinese Central Bank devalued its currency, the yuan/renminbi which caused major repercussions in financial markets throughout the world. Most took it as a negative sign of flagging growth throughout the global economy and it pushed oil prices, metals, and other commodities down sharply. The People’s Bank of…

Russia cuts interest rates again, marking fifth change in 2015

The Central Bank of Russia cut interest rates again last week, declining to further comment on additional economic easing to any sources, taking rates from 11.5% to 11% from its high of 17% earlier this year. The continuation of easing suggests that the CBR is attempting to pick up the flagging economy without letting inflation…

Kazakhstan loses 2022 Winter Olympics bid to China

In a surprising move, Beijing usurped the win from Almaty to host the 2022 Winter Olympic games, making the city the first in the history of the games to host both the Summer and Winter versions. Almaty, despite receiving 40 votes from the IOC to Beijing’s 44 votes, has little experience hosting international sporting events,…