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.
The legal battle between Rosneft-Sistema over Bashneft is one of the largest lawsuits involving Russian energy companies since the Yukos case, which also involved illegal privatisation and the arrest of senior officials. Rightly so, investors are worried that this case will have significant repercussions for the investment environment.
Russia’s banking sector is undergoing the largest reshuffle in decades. The result is that over 50% of banking assets are controlled by a handful of large state- and private-owned entities, through which informal networks leverage their influence. Details of the power dynamics and influence power players wield over Russia’s banks are provided in the Report Store.
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The Kazakh economy has regained momentum as it enters a new post-crisis period. Foreign investments are needed to uphold the pace of economic growth, but are Kazakh efforts to build transparency real or a façade?
Ukraine’s agriculture sector has the potential to become the most profitable for investors. However, it is not without risks – including poor transport infrastructure, cases of corporate raiding, and persistent corruption concerns.
Nominee ownership is a common tool used by politically exposed individuals in Kazakhstan to obscure their assets, or increase their corporate tax efficiency. Shadow Governance research on Dutch companies with shares in some of Kazakhstan’s most lucrative industries reveals how members of the political elite use opaque mailbox companies in the Netherlands; ostensibly for tax avoidance.
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After Prezident Mirziyoyev’s first official visit to the Kremlin, it is becoming increasingly evident that Tashkent is seeking to improve economic relations. There are indications that Uzbekistan is revealing an emerging predilection for attracting Russian investment.
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Kazakhstan’s banking sector is undergoing a degree of restructuring. The indications are that the sector will undergo several mergers and acquisitions – which will involve banks with ties to the Presidential circle. With suggestions that the country is preparing for political transition, changes in the banking sector can be viewed as an integral part of elite negotiations for a post-Nazarbayev era.
In Ukraine, the media landscape is highly manipulated. Oligarchs, who dominate various industries, have realised the influential that control over media carries. In this sense, oligarchic interests in media ownership makes this sector a battleground for interests, rather than the ‘truth’.
Since the independence of Kazakhstan, the media sector has been controlled by the Nazarbayev clan, creating more space for the government to exert influence.
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