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Highlights from Eastern Europe Research Trip


ERIC FINE: Natalia, you were recently in Eastern Europe. Tell me your main highlights from the trip.


NATALIA GURUSHINA:  My outlook for the region became more cautious as a result of this trip. Even though large parts of the region will benefit from growth recovery in the euro zone, especially Germany, there are two large economies, Russia and Turkey, where the growth dynamics remain extremely anemic. This will continue to generate lots of issues, especially in terms of investment outlook.  Another issue I would like to mention is that recent policy actions by the local governments and central banks in some countries– I would name Turkey, Hungary, and Romania–became less coherent, which also contributed to my overall negative view on the region. Finally, I think the level of political noise increased in more than one country. Turkey, Ukraine, and probably Hungary are likely to remain in the headlines in the coming months.  


ERIC FINE: We're taking Ukraine very seriously, mainly because what's happening has the potential to be a very serious event. The markets seem to be ignoring it beyond anything other than a Ukrainian phenomenon. This could have much broader implications in the markets’ thinking right now, which will affect the whole region.


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