Russians believe their country is in a crisis

Moscow (CC BY-NC Mariano Mantel)

The prices of electricity in Bulgaria will go up.

Another rating agency praises Hungarian banking system.

Prague without gaming bars.


72 per cent Russians think their country is in an economic crisis. The poll conducted in November 2015 by the Public Opinion foundation among 1500 respondents in 104 towns of 53 Russian regions shows only 15 per cent Russians claim the country is not in a crisis. 12 per cent of them said it’s difficult to say.
41 per cent of those talking about the crisis claim it is seen in rising prices and inflation. 22 per cent say the crisis manifests in falling living standards, low wages and pensions and 16 per cent – in unemployment and job cuts.

Those feelings match the reality. “Both food and nonfood inflation are still impacted by the continued pass-through from the ruble depreciation in October: 12-month non-food inflation accelerated slightly to 15.6 per cent (compared 15.2 per cent in September), while food inflation was flat at 17.3 per cent (17.4 percent in October). On a monthly basis, food inflation accelerated to 1.0 per cent from 0.4 per cent in September (…)”, reads the November’s World Bank Report entitled “Russia Monthly Economic Developments”. Wages and real incomes sharply fell in September 2015 (respectively -9.7 per cent and -4.3 per cent y/y) causing the depression in consumer demand.

What do Russians think about their financial situation? 38 per cent of respondents say they have enough money for clothes but not for major households appliances. 27 per cent – have enough for food but not enough for clothes. 14 per cent of respondents claim they can’t afford food. The awareness of the crisis is more intense than it was in August 2015. In the mentioned period 68 per cent of Russians claimed there were an economic crisis and only 9 per cent said they had not enough money for food.

The average monthly salary in Russia is RUB33240 (approx. EUR473). The results of the poll were cited by Interfax.

>>More here and here.


When announcing (in September 2015) the plans to fully liberalize the energy sector, Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova had said it will cause a reduction in prices of energy for households and industrial consumers. It was mentioned in the previous Daily what’s up. Now, while giving an interview to the radio, the Minister said the prices of electricity may go up – at least in the first months of 2016. “The hike in electricity prices could be expected immediately after the liberalization, which will take place from the beginning of next year. Petkova was not in the position to give any figures of the likely increase, with the price eventually to be determined by the market” – reads Now the prices of electricity are expected to fall in late 2016, after fully implementing the new laws. In 2013 Bulgarians protested against “skyrocketing electricity and heating bills”. The average monthly salary is BGN885 (approx. EUR450). But although the average wage in Bulgaria increased four times (from BGN225 to over BGN800), electricity bills make still a large share of monthly households’ expenses. A trial start of the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange (IBEX) will be given on December 11th – reports.



Hungarian banking sector is improving and likely to be profitable in 2015, with strong liquidity in forints and a good self-financing capacity after the conversion of FX mortgages – claim Fitch rating agency. Because of the lack of apetite for new credit in the economy, the banks will not return to their pre-crisis profitability, but the asset quality is stable so the general outlook is positive. Capitalisation is something to improve – especially when comes to a several large banks. It is all “due to positive developments in the economy and the government’s intention to facilitate a gradual normalization of the banking business environment”, the Budapest Business Journal cites Fitch.

In 2014 the Hungarian banking sector posted a record-high net loss of HUF446.5bn (EUR1.43bn) according to the National Bank of Hungary. The loss resulted mostly from provisioning to cover eventual losses from the household foreign-currency debt relief that was imposed by the government of Victor Orbán.



Lithuanian GDP grew by 1.7 per cent in Q3 2015 y/y – seasonally and working day, and price change adjusted. Compared to Q2 2015 it was up 0.4 per cent. Year on year the positive changes were observed in all economic activities – Baltic Course reports after Statistics Lithuania.

The fastest growers were: construction (4.1 per cent), manufacturing (2.9 per cent), wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, transportation and storage, accommodation and food service activities (2 per cent). In the first three quarters of 2015, GDP at current prices amounted to EUR27.6bn.


Czech Republic

Prague councilors voted to ban all gaming bars in the city. Firstly, the number of gaming bars was supposed to be reduced. But the council decided to “phase them out entirely”. According to new laws in the capital of Czech Republic, more than 200 establishments with gambling machines will be closed – some of them at the beginning of 2016 and others within the next one or two years. Only designated establishments such as casinos will stay but they won’t be allowed in the district of Prague 4. The owners of gambling machines oppose. Petr Vrzáň of the Association of Gaming Operators told Radio Prague: “(The) decision disregards existing permits and will negatively impact the legal gaming industry; it will negatively impact employment and investment, and it will lead to a drop in public funds of an estimated 300 million crowns in the capital and it will open the door to illegal gambling and mafia activities”.


What’s up in indexes? 

OMTX, OMXV and SAX were up on Friday, November 27th. The leader of trade was SAX (of Bratislava) – it gained 1.36 per cent. 

BUX (of Budapest) dropped by 0.48 per cent on Friday, November 27th closing at 23712.67 index points. The previous close was at 23826.74 index points. From year-end the index is up 42.56 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest) lost 2.00 per cent. It decreased from 7161.65index points Thursday to 7018.11 index points Friday. From year-end it dropped by 0.92 per cent.

PX (of Prague) lost 0.41 per cent falling from 981.57 index points Thursday to 977.58 index points Friday. From year-end it’s up 3.26 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) dropped by 1.42 per cent, decreasing to 1936.05 index points. The previous close was at 1963.89 index points Thursday. From year-end it lost 16.40 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) grew by 0.11 per cent. It climbed from 892.02 index points to 893.01 index points. And from year-end it’s up 18.27 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) lost 1.62 per cent, decreasing from 598.99 index points Thursday to 589.27 index points Friday. From year-end it’s up 44.42 per cent.

OMXV (of Vilnius) was up 0.26 per cent – climbing from 484.12 index points Thursday to 485.39 index points Friday. From year-end it’s up 7.29 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) grew by 1.36 per cent, increasing from 302.96 index points Thursday to 307.07 index points Friday. From year-end it’s up 38.12 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) increased from 435.30 index points Thursday to 437.79 index points Friday being up 0.57 per cent d/d. It dropped by 16.15 per cent from year end.

UX (of Kyiv) dropped by 1.47 per cent. The index decreased from 725.10 index points to 714.41 index points. And from year-end it lost 725.10 per cent.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) lost 0.27 per cent on Friday. It closed at 1688.66 index points. The previous close was at 1693.18 index points. From year-end it lost 3.25 per cent.

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