Plans for the creation of an Islamic finance infrastructure represent the latest expression of commitment by the Mirziyoyev administration to reform Uzbekistan’s notoriously opaque banking sector. Nevertheless, Islamic banking in the country remains vulnerable to co-option by national elites.
Last month Naftogaz celebrated a big victory in a lawsuit against Gazprom. However, its domestic battles have been far less victorious. One major stumbling point is the system of gas supplies dominated by oligarch Dmitry Firtash. Despite international pressure, and the obvious economic benefits of unbundling the system of gas supply and distribution, the government has been reluctant to challenge Firtash’s monopoly. Shadow Governance Intel analyses the standoff between Naftogaz and the Firtash-controlled regional gas suppliers, and explains why the government continues to resist change.
Despite the progress made by Ukraine towards the liberalisation of the gas market, its reform efforts have been marred by the political headwinds and interference of powerful elite networks. Overcoming this inertia will determine Ukraine’s future financial prosperity; however, the window of opportunity is closing. The break-up of Naftogaz is a very undesirable thing from the perspective of key stakeholders, in the sense that it would create significant competition in the marketplace – a market they have controlled both in terms of production and marketing.
China's recently published Arctic policy places great emphasis on the development of the Polar Silk Road, which will require further expansion of its cooperation with Russia. Shadow Governance looks beyond the geopolitical layer of the China-Russia partnership in the Arctic, and analyses its commercial implications and its impact on Russian elite dynamics.
This is Part II of a two-part series reviewing Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. In today's analysis, we look at the key corporate players involved in the nascent renewable energy market, assess its investment potential, and forecast if the trend of green energy is likely to last in Russia.
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This is Part I of a two-part series looking at Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. An evolving economic and international context has pushed the Russian authorities into paying attention to the country's green energy potential. In part I, we examine the country's renewable energy capacity and existing support programmes for prospective investors.
During the economic recession, the Kremlin suggested that private players would need to secure their own financing to advance its energy ambitions in the Arctic. This might result in renewed corporate disputes, as state-owned monopolists of the Arctic shelf are determined to retain control over the hydrocarbon reserves of the Russian High North.
There is a shake-up of power players in Kazakhstan’s nuclear sector. In the midst of waning Russian influence, and growing Chinese interests, the political elite group known as the Southerners have been given another opportunity to expand their footprint in the country’s political and commercial echelons of influence. Nuclear sector dynamics are thus simultaneously highlighting Astana’s geopolitical and political realignments.
Institutional and systemic lapses continue to undermine Georgia’s investment environment. Using the fertilizer sector as a case study, this analysis highlights how sustained interference of politically connected informal business networks in key enterprises has prevented modernisation, and further contributed to deepening a negative image of the country’s wider business and investment climate.
Uzbekistan’s banking sector is currently undergoing major reforms that have been initiated under the new government of President Mirziyoyev. On the surface, these reforms appear tied to attempts to attract foreign investment; however, the question remains whether these reforms will truly bring about transparency.
Although a lesser discussed set of bilateral relations, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates are sending signals of enhanced cooperation. Given the UAE’s desire to expand and diversify its economy, established investors should keep one eye on the effects that emerging bilateral agreements may have on their interests.
Lviv has been is at the forefront of Ukraine’s regeneration since the beginning of the Donbas war in 2014, with hopes that the city will add manufacturing to its two key growth sectors (tourism and IT). Despite opportunities, there is still much to be done to midwife the country’s investment environment to health.
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