Are the emerging securities markets in Eastern Europe worth paying attention to? Yes, if one is careful and avoids the "conventional wisdom." The conventional wisdom is that Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are on track to become members of the European Union (EU), that their growth will be export-led, and that they are set to take off in the foreseeable but always indefinite future. Each of these three assumptions is either a little off-base or just plain wrong-headed.
Continue reading "Eastern Europe: Still Out in the Cold?" »
Корреспондент "НГ" Игорь Ротарь в своей статье "Чеченские проекты получают международную поддержку" обратил внимание на новые аспекты кавказской политики, значение которых трудно переоценить. Речь идет об инициативах одного из чеченских лидеров Хожахмеда Нухаева по созданию "Общего рынка Кавказ - Евразия", способного лишить Россию монополии на транспортировку каспийской нефти. Дело в том, что и самому мне неоднократно доводилось выступать с аналогичными предложениями - например, в январе 1995 г. на международной конференции, организованной администрацией президента Финляндии совместно с Институтом мировой политики (Нью-Йорк) и МГИМО, собравшей представителей высокого уровня из почти всех новых государств Евразии, в октябре этого года - в Вашингтоне, на международной конференции, поддержанной IREX и неправительственным Национальным бюро азиатских исследований. В 1996 г. в Tбилиси вышла моя статья на ту же тему в научно-политическом журнале "Кавказские рeгиoнaль-ныe исследования". В ней я защищал проект создания евроазиатской нефтяной и газовой ассоциации, или EAOGA.
Continue reading "Москва рискует изоляцию от Кавказа" »
The new year has already established two new trends in Caspian Sea geo-economics as well as confirmed an old one. Two important new trends are an improvement in Turkmenistan's finances and the refusal of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline to vanish from the drawing board. The old trend, which is accentuated, is Iran's economic isolation.
Continue reading "Ring in the Old, Ring in the New!" »
In March, the private U.S. consulting firm Legal Technical & Advisory Services will hold a training session for energy officials from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. This high-level, hands-on seminar will focus on legislation, policy and regulations of the oil and gas sectors. A particular advantage will be the simultaneous presence of leading officials from the three most important energy-producing countries in Central Asia.
Continue reading "How To Orient Energy Regulation towards Economic Cooperation" »
A prospective loosening of investment controls by the OPEC states, formerly most concerned to constrain foreign direct investment, makes it likely that at least some attention will be diverted from the Caspian region to the Arabian peninsula. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have publicized their intentions of allowing international energy companies to acquire equity stakes in developing prospective new fields on the peninsula. However, this does not necessarily mean that the international energy companies will cease operations in the Caspian.
Continue reading "Transit Tariffs Come to the Fore" »
Competition among export pipeline companies in the Caucasus is heating up, even while the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project remains on at least temporary hold. As predicted here some time ago, transit fees are beginning to play a major role in at least the short-term development of pipeline routes. This may have unexpected implications for the longer-term future, inasmuch as seven years ago no one was even thinking about Baku-Supsa.
Continue reading "Tariff Competition in the Caucasus and a Test Case for Reform in Iran" »
Transit of oil through the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline continues to be a problematic affair. Since the beginning of the month, the pipeline has been shut down three times. The reasons given are the age of the Russian section of the pipeline and defects in its reconstruction as well as theft of oil along the Chechen part of the route. Although the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) says it intends to continue cooperation with the Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft to use the route, the decision to seek other routes such as Baku-Supsa seems now well justified. However, it is clear that Baku-Supsa can only be a temporary bypass in its present state and that the early oil pipeline is unlikely to satisfy all export needs even if upgraded and expanded.
Continue reading "Baku Continues at the Center of Negotiations" »
In the early 1990s, the Caspian oil exploration was like a high-ante, high-stakes game of poker with several rounds of draw and a large (but unknown) number of wild cards. A lot of the players frankly acted like cowboys shooting from the hip, and there was a lot of bluffing as well. It was, moreover, a "table stakes" game: if you couldn't meet the level of the bet when it came your turn to call, you had to clear out or find some kind of collateral, usually by signing an IOU to another player who would back you and split any winnings. This is why consortia were established: to pool resources and intelligence.
Continue reading "The Changing Nature of the Caspian Oil Game" »
The current situation around the Caspian is sometimes compared with the nineteenth-century "Great Game." However, it differs on at least three accounts: the players are more numerous, the stakes are not control of territory but access to resources, and the decisive players are multinational-financial bureaucracies rather than state-political structures. Also, the financial environment is unstable and constantly changing. This week's commentary begins a two-part series on the latter theme. This week I discuss the need for strategic alliances and their strengths, and selected issues of financing and feasibility. Next week I argue that financing is not everything, and conclude on the relationship between financing and other forms of engineering.
Continue reading "Finance Issues in Eurasian Energy Development (1/2)" »
This week's commentary concludes the theme begun last week on the unstable and constantly changing financial environment for energy development in the Caspian region. Last week I discussed the need for strategic alliances and their strengths and selected issues of financing and feasibility. This week, I explain why financing is not everything and conclude with the relationship between financing and other forms of engineering.
Continue reading "Finance Issues in Eurasian Energy Development (2/2)" »
Part one of this series, published after BP-Amoco made an announcement in support of the Baku-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline (MEP), reviewed the background to that decision and its implications with regard to the four agreements being negotiated between Turkey and Azerbaijan. It also discussed what the MEP agreement and the cost guarantee agreement might look like. Part two began the discussion of the agreement between investors and transit states. This week's column is being written on the weekend preceding the November 18-19 meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Istanbul. It is expected that a set of framework agreements will be signed at that meeting, at least by Turkey and Azerbaijan. In anticipation of that event, the discussion of the agreement between investors and transit states will continue here, with special attention to Georgia. First, however, will come a few necessary preliminary remarks about BP-Amoco and the Istanbul conference.
Continue reading "Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (3/7)" »
This week's column continues the discussion, begun last year, of the Baku-Ceyhan main export pipeline (MEP) accords initialled in Istanbul during the November OSCE summit. Although none of these agreements has yet been published, their outline and some of their details have already been analyzed here from available information. Of the four agreements initialled, previous columns this series looked at the MEP agreement itself and the cost guarantee agreement. As suggested earlier in this series, it turns out that the agreement between the investors and the transit states is complex and still subject to further clarification, as a precondition for establishing the definitive terms of the construction contract itself.
Continue reading "Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (5/7)" »
In mid-January, the first multilateral meeting of parties interested in the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP), which will carry natural gas from Turkmenistan to Turkey, was held in Ashgabat. It included the countries concerned, parties to the TCGP consortium that will be building the TCGP and interested observers. TCGP consortium is 50% owned by PSG International, which in turn includes the U.S. companies GE Capital and Bechtel, plus Royal Dutch/Shell. It has been known for some time that the initial volume of gas to be pumped through the TCGP will be 16 billion cubic meters per year, subsequently to be raised to 30 billion. As in the case of the Baku-Ceyhan main export pipeline (MEP) for Azerbaijani oil, the fact that the pipeline will traverse more than two countries makes the negotiations technically intricate.
Continue reading "Negotiations Proceed on the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline" »
In mid-February, Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov rejected a proposal to split equally with Azerbaijan exports of natural gas through the proposed Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) with a projected volume of 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year. The contract to construct the TGCP was awarded last year to PSG, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell, Bechtel and the GE Capital unit of General Electric. Turkmen President Niyazov accused US President Clinton's Caspian advisor John Wolf of pressing Ashgabat to accept unfavorable conditions from Baku. Later on March 9, Niyazov announced an agreement with Azerbaijan President Aliev to scale down Azerbaijan’s demands from nearly one-half of the pipeline's capacity to one-sixth, thus defusing the latest clash between the Caspian’s hydrocarbon titans.
Continue reading "Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Untie the Caspian Gas Knot" »
This article continues a series begun late last year as an analysis of the then-accelerating negotiations that led to the initialling of agreements on the Baku-Ceyhan main export pipeline (MEP) at the OSCE's mid-November summit in Istanbul. There were four such agreements: a cost guarantee accord, an accord between investors and the transit states, the MEP accord itself and the construction contract. The first four articles in this series addressed the four agreements and the role played by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), including its component companies and BP-Amoco in particular, in the talks. The fifth looked at Georgia's demands, which by then were the main obstacles holding up to the talks. In late March, the talks were brought to a successful conclusion, with all of Georgia's demands receiving satisfaction. Therefore, it is appropriate to bring this series to a conclusion, although future columns will undoubtedly revisit the MEP and related issues. The present column traces the negotiations from early January until their conclusion, with special attention paid to Georgia's demands and how they were satisfied.
Continue reading "Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (6/7)" »
This week I begin a new, short series on an issue that few people talk about and fewer people do anything about. This is the industrial infrastructure problem. It is already clear that problems of energy development in the Caspian are unique. Over the last 10 years, companies have devised new organizational methods of work to deal with human-resource issues. In international-legal and project-structuring terms, the Baku-Ceyhan agreement is apparently the first instance ever of a trilateral intergovernmental project that includes a transit country and that was concluded through intergovernmental accords, with industry consortia representing strategic alliances sitting at the table during negotiations and concluding side agreements to facilitate and implement the overall plan. However, infrastructure limitations add themselves to other idiosyncratic factors, political and economic, that slowed Caspian energy development in the 1990s.
Continue reading "Solving the Problems of Caspian Industrial Infrastructure (1/2)" »
It was announced recently that Georgia will sign this week a host government agreement with private investors in the oil pipeline pipeline from the Azeri capital Baku, through the Georgian capital Tbilisi to the Turkish Black Sea port of Ceyhan. This agreement represents the final piece in the legal framework for the Baku-Ceyhan Main Export Pipeline (MEP). Accordingly, I bring the series I began late last year on this topic to a conclusion, although future columns will undoubtedly revisit the issue.
Continue reading "Just When You Thought Baku-Ceyhan Was Dead and Buried (7/7)" »
Three weeks ago I began describing part of the industrial infrastructure problem in the Caspian region. Limitations of physical geography require relative self-sufficiency in the development of basic infrastructure and installation of production facilities. The amount of investment required to build up the infrastructure capacity also limits the pace of the region's development. Steel fabrication capacity is especially key.
Continue reading "Solving the Problems of Caspian Industrial Infrastructure (2/2)" »
Russian President Vladimir Putin just spent the weekend of May 19-21 in Ashgabat where he reached an agreement in principle to increase Russian gas purchases from Turkmenistan. It is yet another indicator of Russia's renewed interest in Central Asia since Putin assumed control. Russia and Turkmenistan have reached an agreement in principle to renew and expand their December 1999 agreement to export 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) for calendar year 2000 and increase this figure by 10 bcm per year for three to four years until import levels reach 50-60 bcm per year. But Russia's real target in Central Asia is neither Turkmenistan nor Uzbekistan but Kazakhstan.
Continue reading "Russia and Central Asia: Playing the Turkmenistan Card" »
One of the properties of increasingly networked relationships is that they seem to begin to take on a life of their own. The word "self-organization" is used for describing this. In the evolution of networks, events can occur that seem insignificant at the time but which, in retrospect, stand out as crucial markers of qualitative development. (The technical name for this phenomenon is a "bifurcation point.") In this column, I will explore—without using the technical jargon—the question of whether we are approaching such a bifurcation point in the self-organization of the emerging network of Caspian energy pipelines.
Continue reading "Caspian energy pipelines: Towards a self-organizing network?" »
On the natural gas front, all signs are "go" for Azerbaijani gas from the offshore Shah-Deniz deposit to find purchasers in Europe. The head of the European Union's TACIS (Technical Assistance for the Commonwealth of Independent States) program, visiting Baku, declared earlier this month that anticipated industrial growth in southwestern Europe would assure a stable long-term market for this gas. Norway's Statoil, which owns a 25.5 per cent share in the Shah-Deniz consortium and has experience with deep-water gas development in the North Sea, is proposing a strategic partnership to the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). In particular, it seeks to organize and operate, together with SOCAR, the country's midstream gas development. Significant investment in Azerbaijan's Soviet-era gas infrastructure would be necessary.
Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (1/9)" »
In a series of public statements last month including a May 17 seminar at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Andrei Urnov, head of the Caspian Sea working group of the Russian Foreign Ministry, suggested a new approach to the demarcation of national sectors in the Caspian Sea. His announcement followed a decision by the Security Council of the Russian Federation to re-activate Russian policy in the region through sea-bed delineation for the purpose of subsoil use which may thus signal a qualitatively new development in the stalled negotiations over the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.
Continue reading "Russia Reactivates Its Caspian Policy with a New Demarcation Approach" »
Fall-out continues from the Shah-Deniz gas find offshore from Azerbaijan. Several weeks ago, part one of this series examined developments around the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) from Turkmenistan, and Iran's problems with Turkmenistani gas imports. The evident withdrawal of PSG from the TCGP has brought to the surface many subterranean possibilities that have been silently percolating. Whereas a few weeks ago, it was generally thought that Turkmenistan would be left only with Gazprom as a gas-buyer and would have to take whatever price it was offered, other suitors have presented themselves.
Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (2/9)" »
China has declared ownership of its planned pipeline from Xinjiang to Shanghai open to foreign entities. This follows President Jiang Zemin's visit to Turkmenistan, where he discussed the possibility of a pipeline to carry natural gas from that country across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Xinjiang. The announcement comes three weeks after Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, whose companies recently bought a stake in PetroChina, reportedly made the suggestion to Chinese officials at a June 23 meeting.
Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (3/9)" »
This week I continue my analysis of the fall-out from the gas discovery in the Shah-Deniz deposit offshore on Azerbaijan, which, as explained earlier in this series, has led Turkmenistan to turn away from the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) project.
Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (4/9)" »
This week I resume my series on the fall-out from the discovery of vast natural gas resources at the Shah-Deniz deposit, located off the coast of Azerbaijan. That discovery put into question the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) from Turkmenistan to Turkey, though this project has recently been re-endorsed by Ashgabat. I will cover the latter development in a future column. For the present, however, I wish to focus on the neglected Turkmenistan-Ukraine-Russia energy triangle and discuss how TCGP politics have contributed to a political battle among elites in Kyiv.
Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz Is Changing the Equation (5/9)" »
The Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) asserts that Xinjiang has 17.4 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves. However, it is not clear that they are all recoverable. The geology is frequently difficult and the depths are often extreme. It is more likely that this figure is for potential or estimated reserves. Indeed, several years ago western energy companies, encouraged by Beijing's touting of Xinjiang's natural energy resources, paid high fees to test-drill for oil, and they came up dry. Now, the 2,600-mile-long "West-East" pipeline is projected to carry gas from Xinjiang to Shanghai at a construction cost of $5 billion and to open in 2003.
Continue reading "China’s "Go West" Pipeline Projects: A "Great Leap Westward"?" »
I resume my series on the fall-out from the discovery of vast natural gas resources at the Shah-Deniz deposit, located off the coast of Azerbaijan. That discovery put into question the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) from Turkmenistan to Turkey, though this project has recently been re-endorsed by Ashgabat. I will cover the latter development in a future column. For the present, however, I wish to focus on the neglected Turkmenistan-Ukraine-Russia energy triangle and discuss how TCGP politics have contributed to a political battle among elites in Kyiv.
Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz is changing the equation (6/9)" »
The article examines once more the results of the Shah-Deniz find for the Russia-Turkmenistan-Ukraine triangle. It first dissects the most recent developments in their interactions over energy supplies and policy. It then examines the question of what the Russian contract for an additional 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) means for Turkmenistan, for the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, for the Shah-Deniz project and for the TCGP itself.
Continue reading "How Shah-Deniz is changing the equation (7/9)" »
Reports have recently circulated of an agreement between Russia and the European Union (EU) for long-term energy sales. Europe wants more Russian oil and gas, but this does not mean that it will not continue to seek oil and gas from other Caspian countries. However, for Europe to take more oil and gas from Russia, new pipelines would have to be constructed, and this in turn would require a clear legal framework. The best step Russia can make right now in that direction is to ratify the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).
Continue reading "Russia and Europe's Energy Strategy" »
[This edited translation by of "Russia and Europe's Energy Strategy," published by Нефтегазовая Вертикаль, contains all the main points of the original text but re-arranges some of them and includes additional explanatory material for a more general Russophone readership.]
Между Россией и Европейским Союзом (ЕС) идет серия переговоров о новых соглашениях на долгосрочные поставки российских энергоносителей. Европа хочет заручиться гарантией значительного увеличения поставок нефти и газа из России на длительную перспективу. Имеющиеся транспортные магистрали справиться с дополнительным потоком энергоносителей не смогут. Строительство новых трубопроводов, в которых заинтересованы и Россия, и Европа, потребует значительного финансирования. Оно должно придти из Европы. Обсуждаемая формула "энергоносители за инвестиции" сможет работать только при наличии в стране ясной законодательной базы. Первым эффективным шагом России в этом направлении может стать ратификация Договора к Энергетической Хартии.
Continue reading "Как России завоевать Европу" »
The lack of economic momentum in Uzbekistan has led to a general decline of great-power interest in the country. In a vicious circle, Uzbekistan's profile in international and regional diplomacy has fallen in turn. Its response could be called an "all directions" strategy, after France's General De Gaulle's "tous azimuts" nuclear doctrine of the 1960s. But whereas De Gaulle targeted the source of every possible threat, even from allies, for President Karimov "all directions" means looking for help from whatever direction of the compass he can find it. This policy on the part of the government risks manifesting as an "every man for himself" policy for Uzbekistani individuals in their everyday lives.
Continue reading "Uzbekistan's Foreign Policy and Its Domestic Effects" »
The Shah Deniz gas discovery had the effect of decreasing the volume of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) allocated to Turkmenistan, whose President Saparmurad Niyazov consequently sought other new routes. However, he has so far failed to conclude any agreement other than his fallback plan, which is to sell more gas to Russia, which, because of the absence of signficant pipelines for export to other countries, remains his only big customer. In this context, Iran has again come forward as a potential consumer of Turkmenistan's gas.
Continue reading "How Shah Deniz Is Changing the Equation (9/9)" »
The beginning of the year 2001 has seen a re-inauguration of economic and political warfare over the production, distribution and consumption of natural gas in the greater Caspian region. On the first day of the year, Turkmenistan stopped exporting gas to Russia because of a failure to agree with the energy-transport company Itera on prices for the year to come. On the very same day, for the second time in a month, Russia cut off gas supplies to Georgia, in abrogation of existing contracts.
Continue reading "A Frosty New Year in the Caspian Region" »
Armenia has suffered severe energy shortages since 1991 and has long been looking to Iran to relieve its energy needs. Last year the European Commission decided to back a project for construction of a pipeline from Iran into Armenia. Discussions have now begun with Ukraine concerning the possibility of Iranian natural gas transiting Armenia and Georgia, then travelling either overland through Russia or under the Black Sea into Ukraine and onward to European markets. However, it is unlikely that the gas will get any further than Armenia. Nevertheless, Turkmenistan's President Niyazov must now face Russia and Iran as potential competitors for the European market. Unless Niyazov decides to build the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP), both Russia and Iran will have a stranglehold on Turkmenistan's gas and oil exports.
Continue reading "Will the Iran-Armenia-Ukraine Energy Triangle Happen?" »
The selection several weeks ago of Italy's ENI as operator of the Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (OKIOC), which is exploring the vast Kashagan deposit offshore from Kazakhstan, came as a surprise to most observers. Eni was a dark horse in OKIOC and not one of the front-runners to become operator.
Continue reading "New Configurations around the Caspian Sea (4/4)" »
In one of the generally less remarked-upon recent political earthquakes, the reform-oriented government of Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine has lost a no-confidence vote in the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) but will stay on at the head of a caretaker government for up to 60 days. The column analyses the significance of the political crisis in Ukraine for energy questions in Europe and Eurasia.
Continue reading "Euro-Caspian energy and the political crisis in Ukraine" »
Two weeks ago, in the context of Turkmenistani President Saparmurad Niyazov's visit to Ankara for the Turkic-speaking countries' summit, this writer discussed how Ashgabat is currently situated in the "great game" over Caspian Sea energy resources, especially with respect to relations with Azerbaijan, the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) project and Caspian Sea demarcation. The discussion of Turkmenistan's position continues in light of Niyazov's subsequent visit to Ukraine.
Continue reading "Turkmenistani natural gas: The key to Ukraine's economy?" »
A sensational report has arrived that Moscow may be altering its policy on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) export pipeline, so as to permit Russian companies to participate in its construction and operation. Russia's foreign minister Ivan Ivanov is said to have stated a few days ago in late May, that although in his judgment BTC will not be economically viable, Russian companies would not be blocked from participating in it. However, now that Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) from Kazakhstan is scheduled to arrive later this year in Novorossiisk, it is clear that high-ranking Russian officials are take seriously the environmental objections from Turkey concerning the flow of excessive quantities of oil through the Straits.
Continue reading "Recent developments in the self-organizing Caspian pipeline network" »
It is projected that the Blue Stream pipeline will increase Turkey's dependence on Russian sources of natural gas from the current two-thirds level to about four-fifths. For this reason, the United States has reportedly raised hesitations to Ankara over the past several years.
Continue reading "The "Blue Stream" Gas Project: Not a Pipe-Dream Anymore" »
Mavi akım projesinin tamamlanması konusundaki kuşıkular son dönemlerde daha da arttı. Bunun birinci nedeni, Türkiye'deki krizin sürmesi ve bizzat Mavi Akım anlaşımasına yönelik yolsuzluk soruşıturması.
Continue reading ""Mavi Akim" Doğalgaz Projesi: Artik Bir Rüya Değil" »
In late March, Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Kasymzhomart Tokaev turned the tap at the Tengiz field to begin filling a pipeline built by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). This 1,580-kilometer pipeline was built to take oil from Tengiz (estimated to hold between 6 and 9 billion barrels in recoverable reserves) from western Kazakhstan to the coast of the Black Sea. The Tengiz deposit is being developed by TengizChevrOil (TCO), a consortium led by the US oil major Chevron (50%) and also including ExxonMobil (25%), LUKArco (5%) and the government of Kazakhstan (20%).
Continue reading "Kazakhstan’s Search for Export Pipelines" »
A good deal of attention has been devoted in recent days to the incident in the south Caspian on July 23, when Iranian military airplanes buzzed vessels that had been chartered by BP to begin exploring the Alov deposit, a component of the Araz-Sharg-Alov offshore block. Iranian ships subsequently intervened that evening, to dispute ownership of the block (which Iran calls "Alborz") and warn these exploratory vessels off. Almost paradoxically, this show of military force came only a day after Hassan Rouhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, signed an agreement in Baku with Ramiz Mehdiev, the head of the analogous Azerbaijani body, concerning security cooperation and covering drugs, crime and terrorism. Indeed, it came only a few weeks before a long-planned visit by Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliev to Tehran.
Continue reading "Renewed conflicts in the Caspian" »
Oil from the Tengiz deposit in western Kazakhstan is being pumped westward through a pipeline through southern Russia. The pipeline, built by the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), has cost $2.6 million to construct: twice the originally estimated cost. It will have an initial capacity of somewhat less than 600,000 barrels per day (bpd). Its eventual full capacity will range from 1 to 1.5 million bpd. The date for loading the first tanker in Novorossiisk has been postponed several times, now likely to take place to be sometime in September.
Continue reading "The Caspian Pipeline Consortium Beats the Skeptics" »
The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) has sought for nearly a decade to develop for export Azerbaijan’s “Contract of the Century” oil fields, i.e., the major offshore deposits in the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli sectors. As it was determined that the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline would go through Georgia, it acquired the name of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan route, or BTC for short. Only a few weeks ago, the AIOC announced its definitive decision to proceed with the construction of the BTC line, now expected to open in late 2004 or early 2005.
Continue reading "The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline: Off the Drawing-Boards and into the Field" »
In late 2000, the EU and Russia began extensive high-level commercial talks about the prospects for European importation of Russian energy resources over the course of coming decades. However, Russia's failure to pursue adequate investment in its natural gas industry would require significant capital outlay from the European side in order to increase imports significantly. In essence, an entirely new pipeline system would have to be constructed in order to satisfy Europe's upcoming energy requirements, whether in gas or in oil. Because it is ecologically cleaner, the EU had taken a policy decision in favor of gas. The European Commission began to look still more definitely towards Iran to satisfy at least some of its long-term gas demand, as well as to put price pressure on Russia.
Continue reading "How Deeply Will Iran Penetrate the Evolving Eurasian Energy Networks?" »
Late last year, the flagship venture TengizChevrOil took the unusual step of holding its board meeting in Almaty and voting to suspend the next stage (planned at $3 billion) in the project’s development. A number of explanations filtered out over subsequent weeks to explain the decision, although all the explanations turned on the issue of the level of TengizChevrOil's taxes. A more disturbing explanation later emerged, that KazMunaiGaz, the Kazakhstani partner in TengizChevrOil, had put forward a bureaucratic stategem that amounted to making ChevronTexaco to pay its portion of the cost.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan’s New Foreign Investment Law" »
Iran has been seeking since the mid-1990s to undertake oil swaps with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan as a way to increase its own exports. Such swaps involve Iran’s importing oil in the north on its Caspian Sea coast for domestic refining and consumption, while exporting compensatory quantities to the world market from its southern ports on the Persian Gulf. This has been part and parcel of Iran’s strategy not only for developing its own energy sector but also for situating itself as an important transit country for international trade flows in general.
Continue reading "Russia Begins Oil Swaps with Iran" »
Real GDP fell throughout the first half of the 1990s in all newly independent states, declining by about half in Kazakhstan. The country was also adversely affected towards the end of the decade by the Asian and Russian crises as well as by fluctuating world market prices for energy. However, Kazakhstan's economic performance has significantly improved since late 1999, due partly to capable macroeconomic engineering, partly to the rebound of world energy prices, and partly to spillover effects from energy-sector growth taking hold in the domestic economy.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan's Economic Promise Revisited" »
Public speech invited at the International Symposium Examination of the Regions of Crisis from the Perspectives of Turkey, NATO and the European Union, and the Impacts of These Crises on the Security of Turkey, organized by the Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM), Turkish General Staff, Istanbul, 27–28 May 2004.
Continue reading "The Sources and Regions of Crisis in the Caucasus" »
The Central Asian Co-operation Organization (CACO, comprising Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and since October 2004 Russia) has taken a decision to meld itself into the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc, which includes also Belarus and has until now excluded Uzbekistan). CACO, established in February 2002, started out in 1994 as the Central Asian Union (Kazakhstan+Kyrgyzstan+Uzbekistan) and changed its name to the Central Asian Economic Community when Tajikistan joined in 1998.
Continue reading "CACO integrate EurAsEc" »
Two weeks after successful renegotiation of Kazakhstan's participation in the Kashagan offshore project, the country's energy minister stated on January 29 that Kazakhstan may impose a duty on nearly half of all exports of crude and oil products beginning in 2009. The Italian company Eni will cease to be operator of the Kashagan consortium, but the Kazakhstan state company KazMunaiGaz will not gain that status, which it coveted.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan Threatens Oil Export Duty Following Kashagan Settlement" »
Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Karim Masimov has announced major energy-related decisions in the wake of President Nursultan Nazarbaev's address to the nation last week. First, and most strikingly, he has ordered the suspension all negotiations with foreign investors on exploration, development and extraction of subsurface natural resources pending the working out of a new tax code.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan announces new energy directions" »
New prospects for a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP) from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan have been receiving deserved attention in recent months. However, another project to pipe energy resources from the western to the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea also demands attention, with implications that loom as large as those of the TCGP. This is an overland oil pipeline that Kazakhstan intends to build from the Tengiz field, in the northwest of the country, to the port of Aqtau in the southwest.
Continue reading "Caspian pipelines ease Russia's grip" »
The one-year anniversary of the EU's Partnership Strategy with Central Asia gets off to a slow start but is not without potential.
Continue reading "EU's Central Asia partnership, one year on" »
Corruption and politics in Ukraine threaten to choke off, at least in the near term, the expansion of oil exports from Azerbaijan and eventually Kazakhstan to Europe. This is the significance of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko's efforts in July to halt what she called the "shadowy privatization" of the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline.
Continue reading "Ukraine clash threatens oil to Europe" »
The strong recovery in Turkey's stock markets that preceded and followed the rejection last week by the country's Constitutional Court of prosecution calls to ban the political party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be short-lived.
Continue reading "Turkey ruling spurs (brief) stock revival" »
The armed conflict between Russian and Georgia has further exposed the fragile position of the energy links running through the smaller country from the Caspian Sea to developed market economies
Continue reading "Oil in troubled mountains" »
Moscow's equity markets, whose benchmark measure has declined with increasing rapidity since the start of the year, have turned worse with Russia's invasion of Georgia. The dollar-denominated RTS index is down 33% in three months and the ruble-denominated MICEX is nearly as much off at 28% in the same period.
Continue reading "Georgian invasion worsens Russian downturn" »
The realities of Turkey's economy and politics would alone have killed off the summer revival in the country's stock markets. Russia's invasion of Georgia, on Turkey's back doorstep, made sure.
Continue reading "Turkey has a rough road ahead" »
Türkiye’nin ekonomik ve siyasi gerçekleri tek başına, piyasalardaki yaz canlanmasının canına okurdu. Rusya’nın Türkiye’nin arka kapısı Gürcistan’ı işgali de bunu kesinleştirdi.
Continue reading "Türkiye’nin İşi Zor" »
Թուրքիայի տնտեսական և քաղաքական իրողությունները միայն բավական կլինեին երկրի արժեթղթերի շուկայում ամռանը գրանցված աշխուժությունը սպանելու համար: Իսկ Ռուսաստանի ներխուժումը Թուրքիայի դրկից Վրաստան դրան թափ հաղորդեց:
Continue reading "Թուրքիան դժվարին ճանապարհ ունի անցնելու" »
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) remained open at the start of trading on Wednesday, despite the state of emergency declared by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej in the wake of widespread street protests and confrontations accompanied by the threat of strikes, particularly in the utilities and transportation sectors. Although Thai equity markets have been down over 25% in the past three-and-a-half months, they are at present proving relatively resilient in the short term, given the circumstances.
Continue reading "Thai markets maintain retreat" »
Russia's stock markets, hit hard by declines in world energy and commodity prices and done no favors by the Kremlin's decision to invade Georgia last month, are now declining at an even faster pace.
Continue reading "Russian equity flight accelerates " »
Just as people who study oil prices look too much at the New York and London spot price, those who study gold prices look too much at the New York spot price and the twice-daily London fixes. Wednesday's phenomenal rise in the price of gold in New York was presaged in Asia. The day before, the spot price rose US$20 in Asian markets as investors dumping stocks began to shift to gold as a safe haven.
Continue reading "Gold: Why Asia was spot on " »
United States market declines on Monday were well under way in New York before it became clear that the US House of Representatives would vote down Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's US$700 billion financial sector bailout proposal then in front of them. Every member of the chamber is up for re-election this year, and the Republicans who made the difference on the bill had been hearing from their constituents against it.
Continue reading "Chinese doubts weigh on commodities " »
Hyped by its backers as the last thing preventing the entire United States economy from sinking into a black hole of immeasurable depth and torment, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's multi-billion dollar financial rescue bill was passed by the Senate on Wednesday evening - and those Asian markets that were open barely blinked.
Continue reading "Asian markets brush off Senate move" »
Pakistan's economic outlook, already darkened by internal violence, strife on its border with Afghanistan, soaring inflation and a plunging stock market, took a turn from bad to worse this week with the decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade its foreign-currency rating. Along with other emerging stock markets, Pakistan's has taken a battering as global confidence has eroded. The Karachi All Share Index is down 40.5% from its high on April 18 this year, the Karachi 100 a similar amount, and the narrower Karachi 30 is down 47.4%.
Continue reading "S&P turns screw on Pakistan " »
Ukraine is in the midst of a financial and banking crisis, exacerbated by political turmoil, that has driven the principal national stock equities indicator, the PFTS Index, down 78% from a high of 1,209 in mid-March to 266 on Monday. The country relies heavily on external finance, and its banking system is by some measures the most at risk after Iceland’s, which collapsed only days ago. On the basis of the cost of its credit-default swaps, Ukraine is the least creditworthy of all of Europe’s emerging markets.
Continue reading "Ukraine goes from orange to red" »
Kazakhstan, whose economy has endured a switchback progress since independence from the Kremlin in 1991, is discovering the benefits of salting away wealth in the good times as it seeks to survive the global downturn without recourse to foreign aid.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan does its own bailing" »
The Kazakhstan government, concerned about runaway costs and repeated delays in the vast Kashagan oilfield, has increased its role in the Italian-led consortium charged with developing the most important oil reserves in the Caspian Sea Basin.
Under the terms of a newly amended North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement (NCSPSA), the share in the Agip KCO consortium held by state-run KazMunaiGaz will more than double to 16.81%, equal to those of Italian company Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Total. ConocoPhillips and INPEX retain 8.4% and 7.56% respectively.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan reins in oil majors " »
Turkey's stock markets, reflecting a stalling economy and doubts over International Monetary Fund loans in the run-up to polls next year, have intensified a year-long plunge, with a key benchmark tumbling more than 36% in barely 11 weeks. The ISE National 100 equities index has taken a 36.8% hit from its level at the end of August, the last time I reviewed the country's economic and financial situation (See Turkey has a rough road ahead, 28 August 2008). At just above the 25,000 level, it is now down 56.8% from its all-time high of mid-October 2007.
Continue reading "Turkey in free-fall" »
The political future of the Russian administration has become an implicit question mark as the fall in the price of oil drags the value of the rouble down with it.
Continue reading "Rouble joins Russia's pointers to decline " »
China's economy requires a minimum annual growth rate of 8% to maintain production levels sufficient to prevent unemployment from increasing, according to a general consensus inside and outside the country. Until recently, collective wisdom held that such a level of growth was likely to be maintained through 2009, easing the threat of social unrest as migrants, newly qualified university students and less-skilled school-leavers struggle to find work, while cushioning the global impact of declining demand for industrial metals and related natural-resource commodities.
Continue reading "Chinese demand a wobbly bulwark " »
The Indian stock market continues to slide following revelation of the scandal surrounding the outsourcing company Satyam Computer Services, of which the founding brothers have been interrogated and jailed and the chief financial officer arrested following the revelation of fraud that could exceed US$1.5 billion. Chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned in the middle of last week with a letter confessing the falsification of profit and revenue.
Continue reading "India's economy in junk mode" »
The crisis over Turkmenistan's gas, transmitted by Russia via Ukraine, demonstrates the need for other energy routes from the Caspian Sea region to Europe.
Continue reading "Turkmen gas almost in reach" »
Today, Thursday, the Chinese government released statistics showing that the country's economy grew at at an annualized rate of 6.8%, the slowest pace in seven years, during the last quarter of 2008. The performance follows a Fitch Ratings estimate at the end of last week that full-year 2009 growth would fall to 6% or below. The World Bank continues to insist on a 7.5% growth rate for the current year, based on the increasingly doubtful assumption of growing domestic demand. The International Monetary Fund has bruited a possible growth rate of 5%. Other estimates are being revised downwards, some even into negative territory.
Continue reading "Asia turns blind eye to facts" »
The Russian rouble has stabilized within 1% of 33 to the US dollar over the past 10 days, ever since the rumor started to circulate that the Russian Central Bank would cease its policy of effectively devaluing the currency step by step. That policy had seen the rouble decline by roughly 2% per day over the first eight trading days of the New Year.
Continue reading "Rouble teeters on slippery slope" »
Turkey, facing a multi-billion dollar financing shortfall, will resume efforts to reach agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a stand-by facility later this month after an IMF mission departed Ankara on January 27 without a final settlement The last such program, which expired in May 2008, was only the most recent in a series going back nearly 10 years that has been nearly universally viewed as an "anchor" for instilling the financial discipline necessary to implement successive economic reform agendas.
Continue reading "Turkey, IMF talks go to the wire " »
Popular unrest and government collapse in Reykjavik in the wake of the ongoing global financial crisis are only the tip of the iceberg.
Continue reading "Meltdown in Iceland" »
Kazakhstan, its economy roiled by the global fall in prices of key earners oil and gas, may have to let its currency weaken further following the 18% devaluation earlier last week as the current account balance continues to worsen. On February 4, Kazakhstan's central bank devalued the tenge to the level of 150 to the US dollar and set up a 3% band around the new level. There was a hint of this coming when in mid-January Grigorii Marchenko was appointed the new chief of Kazakhstan's central bank.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan's tenge far from secure" »
… что нынешняя стабилизация тенге является краткосрочной, а об укреплении национальной валюты можно будет говорить только после повышения сырьевых цен и решения проблем коммерческих банков. За прошедшие после 4 февраля дни о девальвации в Казахстане успели написать почти все влиятельные мировые издания. Для традиционного обзора прессы на радио Азаттык мы отобрали публикации, в которых речь идет о перспективах национальной валюты и экономики в целом.
Continue reading "Зарубежные эксперты считают" »
Rising concern that Ukraine, suffering tumbling demand for its exports as the global economy slows down, is heading towards default on its international debt may yet nudge its government to rein in political infighting, even as leading factions position themselves for an election next year.
Continue reading "Divided Ukraine skirting default " »
The agreement announced late last month between Russia and China for construction of a pipeline branch to China from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline is only one aspect of a relatively new strategic policy direction from Beijing to acquire foreign assets during the ongoing global economic downturn.
Continue reading "China on buying and lending spree" »
Talk of a Medvedev-Putin rift is no longer only talk, as the economic crisis already pulls the two further apart regardless of their intentions, but any rumor of the conflict producing an open split is highly premature.
Continue reading "Medvedev, Putin: Rift But No Split" »
The rebound in the international price of oil and the decline in the value of the rouble have helped Russian stock markets to stage an apparently strong bounce from their precipitous drop of 2008. The recovery, though, is less striking in relative terms and is doing little to assuage concerns about the ability of the country's large companies to pay billlions of dollars of debt coming due this year.
Continue reading "Russia recovery not yet enough" »
Разговоры о том, что между Медведевым и Путиным пролегла трещина, перестали быть только разговорами: экономический кризис разводит политиков в разные стороны независимо от их желания. Однако слухи об открытом расколе преждевременны. По мнению социологов, бунт Медведева против Путина невозможен, а его недавние шаги - всего лишь проявление популизма.
Continue reading "Медведев и Путин: трещина, но не раскол " »
Turkey is continuing to make unacceptable demands for the transit of Azerbaijani gas across its territory as part of the Nabucco pipeline project. That is unlikely to keep that gas from reaching Europe in the long run. The Turkish government is seeking to extract advantageous terms that, according to reports from Baku, include taking 15% of the transit gas for domestic consumption.
Continue reading "Turkey risks gas bypass" »
In mid-February, Russia and China signed an agreement providing for Chinese agencies to lend US$25 billion to the Russian energy trusts Transneft and Rosneft in return for the construction of a branch from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline from Skorovodino to the Chinese border and the guaranteed supply of significant amounts of oil over the long term. In the wake of the breakdown of American efforts to build its tactical cooperation with the Central Asian states over Afghanistan and the “global war on terror” into a broader strategic vision, the ESPO accord agreement signifies a reestablishment of the ability of China and Russia to cooperate together on geo-economic questions even within the context of their competition for influence in Central Asia.
Continue reading "Does the ESPO Signal a New Sino-Russian Rapprochement?" »
Тенге может еще больше ослабить позиции из-за продолжающегося ухудшения платежного балансa
Continue reading "Тенге продолжит слабеть" »
The significance of the recent European Council summit is less its failure to address the full effects of the global financial crisis on Eastern members and more the rallying around a response that diverges from Washington’s.
Continue reading "Finance: Eastern Europe’s Response" »
В середине февраля Россия и Китай подписали соглашение, по которому китайские кредитные учреждения выдадут заем в 25 млрд. долларов российским энергетическим компаниям 'Транснефть' и 'Роснефть' в обмен на строительство ответвления нефтепровода 'Восточная Сибирь - Тихий океан' от Сковородино до китайской границы и гарантированные долгосрочные поставки значительных объемов нефти. После провала усилий США во встраиванию тактического сотрудничества с государствами Центральной Азии по вопросу Афганистана в более широкое стратегическое видение, соглашение о ВСТО означает, что Китай и Россия вновь способны вести сотрудничество по геоэкономическим вопросам даже в контексте своего соперничества за влияние в Центральной Азии.
Continue reading "ВСТО: сигнал о новом сближении между Китаем и Россией?" »
The European Council, in a meeting principally devoted to determining the European Union's policy towards its eastern members and preparing an EU position for next week's Group of 20 summit in London, also took an important decision last week on energy with a compromise to keep plans for the Nabucco gas pipeline on life-support.
Continue reading "Europe keeps Nabucco on life-support" »
The Taiwan presidential election victory of opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Ma Ying-jeou a year ago was expected to bring an upsurge in trade with the mainland resulting from increased economic integration across the strait - that was one of the winner's campaign promises.
Continue reading "Taiwan's ambiguous recovery" »
The hopes of the India's United Progressive Alliance as it heads towards next week's general elections are being encouraged by a stock-market revival that has seen shares recover 20% since the Satyam Computer Services fraud scandal broke on January 23.
Continue reading "Indian stocks give poll cheer" »
A sparkling performance by the Turkish stock market is defying gloom across the country's economy, which has shown little sign of lightening since a disillusioned public reined in support for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in municipal elections on March 29.
Continue reading "Turkish magic" »
The US$10 billion deal this month allowing China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to purchase 50% of Kazakhstan's privately owned MangistauMunaiGaz (MMG) and a $5 billion loan from China will come as welcome boost to the Central Asian country's economy, which shrank in the first quarter after years of double-digit growth.
Continue reading "China deal helps out Kazakhs" »
Более ста лет назад сэр Халфорд Макиндер (Halford Mackinder) произнес знаменитые слова о том, что территории к востоку и северу от Каспийского моря могут стать "географической осью истории", выдвигая свою геополитическую теорию о евразийском "центре мира". Этот термин сейчас в равной мере применим и к Азербайджану, учитывая его роль на южном Кавказе. И вызвано это не только тем, что он обеспечивает самый надежный и самый эффективный транзит каспийских энергоресурсов на запад в Европу и за ее пределы.
Continue reading "Азербайджан может отвернуться в другую сторону" »
Over 100 years ago, Sir Halford Mackinder famously identified territories to the east and north of the Caspian Sea as the "geographical pivot of history" in his Heartland Theory of geopolitics. Much of that territory corresponds to modern-day Uzbekistan, whose importance was rediscovered in the wake of the disintegration of the multinational Soviet state. The term could now equally apply to Azerbaijan's role in the South Caucasus, and not only because it provides the most secure and efficient transit of Caspian Sea energy resources westward to Europe and beyond.
Continue reading "Azerbaijan can look the other way" »
The European Union (EU) and Turkey have resolved two major differences that were preventing agreement on the terms for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline, and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul is reported to have promised that a signing ceremony will take place on June 25 in Ankara.
Continue reading "Nabucco starts to shape up " »
The UPA's positive showing against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), based around the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), banished for the moment fears that the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) elections would produce an unstable if not internally fractious government and increased the prospect of successful legislation for economic reforms. Congress alone increased its representation from 165 to 205 seats, and with its allies inside the UPA will have 262 members of parliament, or nearly half of the 545 seats.
Continue reading "Indian stock surge doutful guide" »
The turn for the better in Taiwan's dealings with mainland China, resulting in improved access for businessmen and tourists across the Taiwan Strait and eased investment rules, could hardly have come at a better time for the island as its export-dependent economy reels from the global downturn. Stimulus efforts by the governments in both Beijing and Taipei are also helping to lift the prospects for economic growth after a dismal few quarters.
Continue reading "Taiwan goes back to work " »
Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP) fell 10.1% in the first quarter this year from the same period in 2008. This represents a decline of 14.6% quarter-on-quarter following a 16.4% fall in the fourth quarter of 2008. All sectors experienced further quarter-on-quarter declines, with the exception of construction and financial services. The broad weakness was especially marked in electronics, biomedical manufacturing, precision engineering, chemicals and manufacturing.
Continue reading "Singapore faces long haul back " »
Negative, even tragic, events have dominated recent news from the Korean Peninsula, yet the resilience of the South Korean economy, aided by government stimulus packages, has helped the equity markets to shrug off personal tragedy and war threats alike.
Continue reading "South Korea sticks to business" »
Prime Minister Najib Razak took over a tough assignment when he took office in Kuala Lumpur at the beginning of April, following the election victory of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). He faced an economy in contraction, with a decline of 6.2% in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first three months of this year and about the same is expected for the second quarter. Not surprisingly, he has announced a stimulus package amounting to US$19 billion.
Continue reading "Malaysia tries for economic reset " »
In a 1955 essay in The Economist, British historian C Northcote Parkinson formulated the now well-known "law" forever after eponymously associated with him, that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Another of his aphorisms, less well known but still more cogent, states that delay is the deadliest form of denial. While the European Union was for years up until a May summit in Prague threatened with this latter lesson, it may now be Turkey that needs to remember it.
Continue reading "Nabucco is still alive" »
The signing this week of a transit agreement to govern the Nabucco natural gas pipeline marks an important staging post in bringing to reality the long-touted energy route, which is projected to run 3,300 kilometers from the Caspian Sea region to Europe. Yet it is important to understand what such a transit agreement is intended to do - and what it is not intended to do.
Continue reading "Nabucco ink starts to flow" »
In the English-speaking world, it was once popular to suggest the irrelevance of an idea by asking rhetorically, "But what's that got to do with the price of tea in China?" Today, however, everything in the global economy seems one way or another tied into the price of copper in China. The metal has acquired a higher profile than usual as an indicator of international economic health.
Continue reading "China's demand bends copper's value " »
A spate of recent analyses in India has focused on the threat of the monsoon season to add a cautionary note to tales of the surging stock market. There is, however, more to this than meets the eye.
Continue reading "India recovers, then falters " »
Taiwan, still counting its dead more than a week after being swept by Typhoon Morakot, may have escaped economic loss on a scale that matches what is considered the fourth-worst such event in the past 18 years. The devastation killed at least 100 people and possibly several times that when the final count comes in, and agricultural losses are severe. Yet the physical plant of the all-important technology sector emerged unscathed and may even have profited from the weather, as the regions where it is located had been suffering from drought all summer and needed the rain to refill reservoirs on which it draws for its water-intensive chipmaking and other industrial processes.
Continue reading "Taiwan counts typhoon cost " »
In order to understand energy geopolitics in Asia, even in East Asia, it is no longer adequate to look westward to Central and Southwest Asia across the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa. A new, massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) development in Australia has just passed an important environmental hurdle, and China, India and Japan are lined up to be customers.
Continue reading "Australia approves gas megaproject" »
The South Korean economy continues to show its ability to bounce back rapidly from crisis, this time due mainly to the combined impact of a domestic stimulus and restocking of global inventories.
Continue reading "South Korea shows recovery skills" »
[Thai translation of South Korea shows recovery skills.]
เศรษฐกิจเกาหลีใต้กำลังควบตะบึงเข้าสู่ภาวะฟื้นตัว เมื่อบรรดาผู้บริโภคของประเทศพากันใช้ประโยชน์จากแพกเกจมาตรการกระตุ้น เศรษฐกิจกันอย่างเต็มที่ ขณะเดียวกัน ผลิตภัณฑ์จากโรงงานของโสมขาวก็สามารถขายได้เพิ่มขึ้นมาก ด้วยความช่วยเหลือจากการที่ทั่วโลกพากันสต็อกสินค้าคงคลังกันอีกคำรบหนึ่ง
Continue reading "เกาหลีใต้โชว์ทักษะการฟื้นตัวทางเศรษฐกิจ" »
The difference of emphasis between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose public statements more and more underline the need for economic rationality and transparency, and Prime Minster Vladimir Putin, who takes a different tack, remains in evidence as the economy recovers from precipitous decline.
Continue reading "Russia hangs on to recovery " »
Вопрос ограничения доступа Ирана к газовому проекту Набукко вызван недоверием общественности к выполнению этой страной своих обязательств, считает американский эксперт Роберт Катлер.
Continue reading "Общественность не доверяет партнерству с Ираном" »
[Interview on Caspian energy security, broadcast in Azeri translation from the original English, and also published in Azeri by Azadlıq Radiosu (Baku), 29 September 2009, under the by-line of Arifə Kazımova.]
Continue reading "««Nabucco» mübahisəli yataqlara görə ertələndi»" »
[News article (interview) first published by Trend News Agency (Baku), 29 September 2009, under by-line of A. Badalova.]
Continue reading "Азербайджан с точки зрения энергетики имеет большое значение для Европы" »
«Набукко» нужно воспринимать как реальный проект. Об этом в Центре стратегических исследований при Президенте Азербайджана во время «круглого стола» на тему «Влияние геополитических факторов на энергетическую стратегию Азербайджана в Каспийско-Черноморском регионе» заявил научный сотрудник института исследований Европы, России и Евразии канадского университета Карлтон Роберт Катлер.
Continue reading "Канадский эксперт: «Набукко» - более реалистичный проект, чем «Южный поток»" »
Как сообщает Vesti.Az, об этом на состоявшемся в Центре стратегических исследований при президенте Азербайджана круглом столе на тему «Влияние геополитики черноморско-каспийского региона на энергетическую стратегию» сказал американский эксперт, старший научный сотрудник института исследований Европы, России и Евразии университета Карлтон Канады Роберт Катлер.
Continue reading "«Участие Ирана в проекте Набукко маловероятно»" »
Bu gün Azərbaycan Prezidenti Yanında Strateji Araşdırmalar Mərkəzi “Genişlənmiş Qara dəniz hövzəsi regionunda Azərbaycanın enerji strategiyasına geosiyasi amillərin təsiri” mövzusunda dəyirmi masa keçirib. SİA-nın məlumatına görə, tədbirdə əsas məruzəçi Kanadanın Karlton Universitetinin Avropa, Rusiya və Avrasiya tədqiqatları institutunun baş elmi işçisi, doktor Robert Katler idi.
Continue reading "Robert Katler: “Rusiya ilə Ukrayna arasındakı münasibətlər Avropanı Azərbaycanla enerji sahəsində əməkdaşlığa daha çox diqqət ayırmasına sövq edir”" »
[This article is the Russian translation (from http://www.inosmi.ru) of the Bulgarian translation (from the newspaper 24 Часа [Sofia]) of the Georgian translation (from the newspaper 24 Ⴑაათი [Tbilisi]) of an interview originally conducted in English, on Caspian and Caucasus region energy security, in Tbilisi on 30 September 2009.]
Continue reading "Роберт Катлер: 'Очень многое зависит от погоды'" »
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Kazakhstan for the signing of an energy pipeline deal marked a week that included two other significant events, including a novel approach to bank restructuring, that trace how the embattled country is seeking to surmount the economic crisis. Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest economy, has moved to reinforce its banking system, hard hit by the world economic crisis, by agreeing with the creditors of Alliance Bank on terms for restructuring the financial institution. This is the first time that such a deal has been struck without the bank first having been taken under the state's protection.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan points route out of crisis" »
Визит президента Франции Николя Саркози в Казахстан для подписания сделки по трубопроводу ознаменовал собой неделю, на которой произошло два других важных события (в том числе новый подход к реструктурированию банка), "отслеживающие", как страна, приведенная в боевую готовность, стремится преодолеть экономический кризис.
Continue reading "Казахстан указывает на путь выхода из кризиса" »
«Asia Times Online» басылымының авторы Роберт М.Катлер (Robert M Cutler) қазанның 10-ы күні «Kazakhstan points route out of crisis» атты мақала жариялап, соңғы уақытта біздің еліміздің халықаралық деңгейде үлкен саяси-экономикалық маңызы бар шешімдерге қол жеткізіп, дағдарыстан шығар жолды көрсеткені туралы тұжырым жасаған.
Continue reading "Қазақстан туралы шет елдерден келіп түскен күнделікті жаңалықтар" »
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to China this week is the latest indicator that the rapprochement in Russian-Chinese relations, initiated through the 2001 bilateral "Treaty on Good-Neighborly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation", which provided for increased Russian arms sales to China and the training of Chinese officers at Russian military schools, is developing steadily into closer strategic cooperation. Burgeoning cooperation in the energy sphere dates from Putin's December 2002 visit to China, as president, when it was agreed that a project for a gas export pipeline to China would be elaborated, with the Kovytka gas field being the most likely candidate for supply.
Continue reading "Price limit on China's Russian friendship" »
การไปเยือนจีนของนายกรัฐมนตรี วลาดิมีร์ ปูติน แห่งรัสเซียในสัปดาห์นี้ บ่งบอกให้ทราบว่าความร่วมมือในระดับยุทธศาสตร์ระหว่างประเทศทั้งสองกำลังมี การพัฒนาขยับเข้าใกล้ชิดกันมากยิ่งขึ้น อย่างไรก็ดี การที่ปักกิ่งตกลงใจที่จะใช้วิธีต่อรองอย่างเต็มเหนี่ยว สำหรับราคาก๊าซที่จะนำเข้าจากแดนหมีขาว อันเป็นท่าทีที่เปลี่ยนแปลงไปจากความอะลุ้มอะล่วยด้วยการเสนอให้เงินกู้แบบ ผ่อนปรนในโครงการเกี่ยวกับน้ำมันของมอสโกเมื่อต้นปีนี้ ก็เป็นเครื่องบ่งชี้ว่าความร่วมมือกันดังกล่าวนี้มีข้อจำกัดของมันอยู่
Continue reading "ราคายังเป็นตัวจำกัดมิตรภาพจีน-รัสเซีย" »
Визит российского премьер-министра Владимира Путина в Китай на этой неделе является последним показателем того, что сближение в российско-китайских отношениях, начатое в рамках двустороннего «Договора о добрососедстве, дружбе и сотрудничестве» 2001 г., который предусматривал увеличение поставок российского оружия в Китай и подготовку китайских офицеров в российских военных ВУЗах, стабильно перерастает в более тесное стратегическое сотрудничество.
Continue reading "Предел цены для китайской дружбы с Россией" »
In all the debate and speculation over the various pipelines planned for the Caspian-South Caucasus corridor and adjacent regions (Nabucco, South Stream, White Stream, and Trans-Caspian Gas Pipelines in addition to various oil pipeline projects), the troubled state of energy relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey has been lost from view, mainly due to their stellar cooperation in the past over the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and South Caucasus Pipeline for gas in particular.
Continue reading "Azerbaijan and Turkey clash over energy" »
Зарубежные эксперты считают, что нынешняя стабилизация тенге является краткосрочной, а об укреплении национальной валюты можно будет говорить только после повышения сырьевых цен и решения проблем коммерческих банков. За прошедшие после 4 февраля дни о девальвации в Казахстане успели написать почти все влиятельные мировые издания. Для традиционного обзора прессы на радио Азаттык мы отобрали публикации, в которых речь идет о перспективах национальной валюты и экономики в целом.
Continue reading "Тенге будет продолжать девальвировать?" »
Более ста лет назад сэр Халфорд Макиндер (Halford Mackinder) произнес знаменитые слова о том, что территории к востоку и северу от Каспийского моря могут стать “географической осью истории”, выдвигая свою геополитическую теорию о евразийском “центре мира”. Значительная часть этой территории соответствует месту расположения современного Узбекистана, чья значимость вновь дала о себе знать после распада многонационального советского государства.
Continue reading "Азербайджан может отвернуться в другую сторону" »
Questions have been raised this month about whether the gas resources of Turkmenistan are in fact as spectacularly voluminous as verified last year by the British firm, Gaffney Cline & Associates.
Continue reading "Turkmenistan gas sets Ciceronian riddle" »
В этом месяце были подняты вопросы о том, являются ли на самом деле газовые ресурсы Туркменистана столь огромными, как было установлено в прошлом году английской фирмой "Gaffney Cline & Associates ". "Gaffney Cline & Associates" подтвердила, что новое газовое месторождение "Южный Йолотан" содержит от 4 трлн. до 14 трлн. кубометров газа, вероятнее всего- 6 трлн. кубометров. А месторождение "Яшлар" - от 0,3 до 1,5 трлн. кубометров, вероятность - 0,7 трлн. кубометров.
Continue reading "Туркменский газ становится цицероновской тайной" »
Recent energy and other developments in Southwest Asia, particularly involving Turkey, Iran and Iraq, sketch the outline of an imminent reorganization of international relations in the region. This will have knock-on effects for Eurasia as a whole and the shape of the international system in coming decades. At the same time, it suggests new and unexpected relevance of the mid-20th century geopolitical theorist Nicolas Spykman.
Continue reading "The Rise of the Rimland?" »
The differentiation in Russian policy and politics between President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minster Vladimir Putin is becoming more accentuated.
Continue reading "Medvedev urges change to "primitive" economy" »
The distinguishing feature of Iraq's auction of oil rights this weekend is the relative absence of American companies, in contrast to five weeks ago, when US firm ExxonMobil and Anglo-Dutch Shell signed an agreement to develop the West Qurna Phase 1 field.
Continue reading "Surprises aplenty in Iraqi oil selloff" »
If the Chinese stock market is still an indicator of global investor appetite for risk, as analysts viewed it a few months ago, then that appetite has lately diminished. Perhaps they are finally absorbing some of the revelations about statistical manipulations.
Continue reading "Blindfolded on a cliff edge" »
China has now entered, or is trying to enter, a cooling phase of the economic stimulus that, according to reliable estimates, accounted for as much as 95% of the country's economic growth through the first nine months of 2009.Yet according to Caixin Media, a Beijing-based media group, commercial banks issued loans worth 600 billion yuan (US$88 billion) during the first full week of January, and this despite instructions from banking regulators and the People's Bank of China (PBoC) to the contrary.
Continue reading "China tries to cool down" »
The fiscal crisis between Athens and Brussels puts EU credit and currency problems in the spotlight.
Continue reading "Zoning In on Greece" »
Bangladesh, long known in the West as an "international basket case", is doing its best to consign to history the dismal label so firmly attached to it by US diplomat Henry Kissinger. The economy is humming and the stock market surging. Now the government is being urged to pursue reforms while the opportunity lasts.
Continue reading "Bangladesh breathes in hope" »
The continuity inherent in incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa's election victory, based on early returns, is likely to further strengthen confidence in Sri Lanka's economic revival after decades of civil war.
Continue reading "Sri Lanka's economy onwards and upwards" »
With the entry of Iraq into the mix of potential suppliers of natural gas for the Nabucco pipeline to Europe and the proliferation of alternative supply lines beyond the Russian-sponsored rival South Stream pipeline, the "classical" variant of the Nabucco pipeline is undergoing significant modification, just as it moves closer to final realization.
Continue reading "Reconfiguring Nabucco" »
Of the "newly independent states" of the former Soviet Union, Kazakhstan continues to lead the economic recovery from the continuing global financial crisis, based in part on an innovative approach to financial restructuring of the banking sector that statutorily limits the prerogatives of creditors.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan innovates banking development" »
Headline stories have announced that China is no longer the largest holder of United States Treasury holdings. As Bloomberg News noted, for example, "China's Treasury holdings peaked at $801.5 billion in May, and net sales in November and December were the first consecutive months of reductions since late 2007." However, Chinese concern over US Treasury holdings is hardly new. Nine months ago, Premier Wen Jiabao publicly expressed worry over the safety of the country's China's Treasury holdings, and other officials have continued to air concerns about the increasing US fiscal deficit.
Continue reading "China diminishes US Treasury holdings" »
The EU has affirmed itself as the last resort to save Greece’s finances, but without making any specific promises and insisting that Greece must first do much more on its own.
Continue reading "Greek Tragedy Averted for Now" »
Kazakhstan, which is seeking to strengthen its influence over the scale and pace of development of its natural resource projects, appears to have the onshore Karachaganak natural gas venture in its sights after driving through a shake-up at the offshore Kashagan deposit.
Continue reading "Kazakhs tighten grip on Karachaganak" »
Казахстан, стремящийся усилить свое влияние над масштабом и темпом развития своих проектов по природным ресурсам, похоже, имеет в поле зрения прибрежное газовое месторождение Карачаганак после проведения коренной реорганизации на месторождении Кашаган.
Continue reading "Казахи и контроль над Карачаганаком" »
The South Korean economy, which last year scraped through the global slowdown without sinking into recession, returned to the recovery path last month after faltering in January, Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun said on Friday, backed by a report that attributed earlier negative data to one-off factors such as heavy snow and an end to tax incentives for car purchases.
Continue reading "South Korea back on track" »
The US stock markets have recently notched over a dozen consecutive days of upward movement. There is, however, no cause for complacency.
Continue reading "Not So Steady As She Goes" »
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent moves to weaken institutionally the two principal centers of resistance to the conservative-populist rule of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have met with little resistance from the country's stock markets, buoyed by positive trade figures and upgrades in Turkey's sovereign debt ratings.
Continue reading "Stocks ride out Erdogan offensive" »
The EU is taking its time in deciding what real policy actions to implement regarding the crisis over Greek finances and the eurozone, but publics in Greece and elsewhere are not waiting to express their disenchantment with national and supranational elites.
Continue reading "Brussels Fiddles While Athens Strikes" »
The EU should not be too quick to congratulate itself for its handling of the situation surrounding Ukrainian presidential elections. The future, not the past, will tell the story, and the future has to be different from the past.
Continue reading "Blind Spots in EU-Ukraine Relations" »
The Moscow metro bombings on Monday hit the Russian currency, the rouble, yet ironically were a factor in gains on the energy-biased local stock market, on concern that further attacks could push up oil prices.
Continue reading "Metro blasts pressure rouble" »
Ukraine's new government, formed by President Viktor Yanukovych after he was inaugurated in March, this week affirmed that the country's gas transportation network is for sale to no one, including Russian gas monopoly Gazprom. At the same time, Russia has made it clear that it is willing to cooperate with the European Union in any project to modernize the network, which includes more than 60,000 kilometers of pipe plus 71 compressed air plants and 13 underground gas storage facilities. Last year, it carried over three-quarters of natural gas exports from Russia to Europe.
Continue reading "Ukraine seeks pipeline threesome" »
A record surge in Chinese property prices has added new tension to China's high-wire act of maintaining the economic growth required for social stability while warding off overheating and at the same snubbing demands from the United States that the government allow the Chinese currency to appreciate.
Continue reading "China's economy feels the heat" »
Concern continues to mount over a property bubble in China in the near term. Whereas earlier this year economic observers were suggesting that a bubble might burst in one to three years, the overdrive of the Chinese economic recovery has led BNP Paribas, for example, to warn of a 20% fall in real estate prices in the second half of the year. Bloomberg News this week quotes the head of Citigroup’s global head of real estate Thomas Flexner as calling the bubble in the Chinese housing market "very real".
Continue reading "China bubbles away" »
In Brussels Fiddles While Athens Strikes seven weeks ago, the Neronic allusion was intended half in irony, half as warning: This week Athens burned; and it is not yet even summer, the season known in southern Europe for wildfires.
Continue reading "Greek General Strike Turns Tragic" »
As you know, Europeans with an interest in energy affairs get very excited when discussing the source of the gas they’ll in 5-10 years. Especially in Italy, where Berlusconi’s center-right government is openly defying EU policy on the matter and nurturing very close ties to Russia, the debate tends to be quite heated and often partisan. We would like then to here the view of an informed and independent outsider on this.
Continue reading "Interview by European Center for Energy Security Analysis (ECESA)" »
The murder by Naxalite insurgents of 35 civilians and police in a landmine attack on a bus in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Monday, a month after another attack killed at least 75 policemen, barely registered among investors seeking to tap into the country's burgeoning economy.
Continue reading "Naxalites drill away at India's wealth" »
In the wake of recent bank failures, high-level proposals suddenly abound for the taxation of financial transactions or financial institutions. But rather than give in to injunctions to "seize the time," we should instead observe Hippocrates' principle: “First, do no harm”.
Continue reading "Europe Sets Taxing Questions" »
Labor unrest in China has reached the headlines of the Western media. The suicides at Foxconn and the strike at Honda have led to significant percentage wage increases that have been widely publicized. This will eventually increase somewhat disposable income and consumer spending in the country, encouraging a shift to production for the domestic market rather than for export. With the expected appreciation of the yuan during the course of this year, the wage hikes will inevitably make China’s exports more expensive for consumers in the developed countries, where they will consequently contribute to an increase in inflation.
Continue reading "China's labor unrest and the world economy" »
Tensions created by China's tearaway economic growth emerged on full display Thursday, when figures showed an almost 50% gain in exports in May and a near-record rise in house prices in the same month. The data kept pressure on the government to raise the value of the yuan, stoked fears of more moves to cool the economy, and sent stock prices sharply up - and then down.
Continue reading "Chinese exports surge, for now" »
Petroleum Industry Review: In your opinion, how will the international energy market change, given the high energy demand (in the EU and the U.S. energy consumption increased by more than 40% since 1970, in Japan it doubled and in China it is more than four times higher) but also the decrease of the world hydrocarbons resources? What is your opinion concerning alternative energy sources? Is renewable energy a solution for the world economy during this time of crisis? Is it a solution for the future?
Continue reading "Interview by "Petroleum Industry Review" (Ploiesti, Romania)" »
Petroleum Industry Review: Cum evaluaţi evoluţia pieţei internaţionale de energie, având în vedere cererea crescută (în Uniunea Europeană şi în SUA consumul energetic a crescut cu peste 40% din 1970, în Japonia acesta s-a dublat, iar în China este de peste patru ori mai mare), dar şi declinul resurselor mondiale de hidrocarburi? Care este opinia dvs. cu privire la resursele alternative? Reprezintă energia regenerabilă o soluţie pentru economia mondială în perioada de criză? Dar pentru viitor?
Continue reading "Interviu cu "Petroleum Industry Review" (Ploiesti)" »
Despite recent improvements in Turkey's economic performance, political uncertainty is weighing on the country's stock markets, with little prospect of relief until the outcome is known of a September 12 referendum on proposed constitutional amendments.
Continue reading "Turkey's markets on hold" »
With moderate fanfare, yet another multilateral economic cooperation agreement was signed among a limited number of the Soviet successor states this month, in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed up to a customs union in the margin of a meeting of the EurAsian Economic Community (EurAsEC), which also counts Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as members.
Continue reading "Russia tries a ménage à trois" »
В столице Казахстана Астане под несколько приглушенные звуки фанфар было заключено очередное многостороннее соглашение об экономическом сотрудничестве между некоторыми из стран-наследниц Советского Союза. На встрече Евроазиатского экономического сообщества (ЕврАзЭС) три его члена (Белоруссия, Казахстан и Россия) из пяти (остальные — это Таджикистан и Киргизия) подписали договор о вступлении в Таможенный союз.
Continue reading "Россия пробует "любовь втроем"" »
Adjusting the arcane rules governing exchange trading execution will not remedy broader financial-system problems and global macroeconomic mismanagement that are producing a new wave of volatility in the world's securities markets.
Continue reading "Volatility Returns to World Stock Markets" »
Embattled oil giant BP, which is looking for ways to meet bills arising from the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, has numerous assets it could sell to meet its obligations, but reports that these could include Caspian Sea projects appear to be unfounded.
Continue reading "BP set to remain in the Caspian" »
Investors are pouring money back into China's stock markets, helping to reverse a plunge of more than 27% this year, on signs that the government's efforts to cool the economy are having their effect and on the hope that policy tightening measures may thus be relaxed.
Continue reading "China on a razor's edge" »
Political friction over economic issues between the US and China has faded for the time being, but its sources remain and may reappear at any time.
Continue reading "US-China Economic Conflict: Not Dead, but Asleep" »
The results of the bank stress test in Europe have been greeted with widespread skepticism; even though financial markets seem calmer, the system is not yet out of the woods.
Continue reading "Stress-Testing European Banks" »
South Korea's recovery from the crisis of 2007-08 was impressive in its speed, but the country's Finance Ministry this month acknowledges that the economy still faces "downside risks" because of a possible slowdown in the economies of its principal trading partners. Consumer prices rose 2.6% in July over July 2009, within the government's target range, and industrial output was up 16.9% year-on-year, after a revised 21.7% increase in May, according to the national statistics office.
Continue reading "Seoul questions recovery stamina" »
Belgium’s presidency of the European Council will not suffer from domestic Belgian political turmoil; indeed, the EU’s adjustment to the Lisbon Treaty’s new framework will likely be eased the fact that the Council’s new president is Belgian.
Continue reading "Belgium Guides New EU Course" »
Singapore's breathtaking economic growth, an annualized 24% compared with the previous three months, is unlikely to continue at the same pace as key trading partners such as the United States and the European Union struggle to maintain recovery momentum, according to the government.
Continue reading "Singapore shows its strengths" »
A "golden decade" lies ahead for Taiwan equities, according to CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in a report published a day after the island's parliament approved an historic trade agreement with the mainland.
Continue reading "Golden period ahead for Taiwan" »
Bulgaria and Romania have over the course of the summer been setting down their markers as regards the Nabucco and South Stream pipeline projects in an on-again, off-again manner. What they finally decide may determine which pipelines from the South Caucasus and Turkey get built where in Southeast Europe. Major investment decisions are also on the line in coming months. It is consequently little exaggeration to say that the next year, if not the next half-year, will set the main lines of the blueprint for Caspian/Black Sea hydrocarbon development for the better part of the oncoming decade.
Continue reading "The Black Sea’s West Coast Weighs In On Caspian Sea Basin Pipelines" »
When Najib Razak took over as Malaysia's prime minister at the beginning of April last year, following the election victory of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the country's main stock exchange index KLCI stood at 901.
Continue reading "Malaysia reaps reform benefits" »
The world price of copper both reflects and drives the hopes and fears of economic recovery and disaster.
Continue reading "Copper Tells the Story" »
The Turkish government's hopes for a victory in this weekend's closely fought referendum on changes to the constitution are being strengthened by an economic performance that in the first six months was possibly second only to China, after expansion of nearly 12% in the first quarter.
Continue reading "Turkish strength fragile in referendum run-up" »
Whatever doubts Sri Lanka's local and overseas investors had about constitutional amendments reinforcing President Mahinda Rajapaksa's already appreciable powers, they did not show up in the stock market in the week since parliament approved the changes.
Continue reading "Sri Lankan economy powers on" »
Kazakhstan's economy has responded strongly to the return of international demand for its energy, mining and manufacturing exports, growing at an 8% rate during the first half from the equivalent period in 2009. That is helping to fuel optimism that Astana looks like weathering the global financial crisis in much better shape than many other countries.
Continue reading "Kazakhstan continues economic recovery" »