Political Risk

Gabon's long-serving president dies

Omar Bongo, Gabon's longest serving president, has died of a heart attack on June 8 in a Spanish hospital at the age of 73. He had been president of the African nation since 1967. He is said to have stopped work in May, checking into a clinic in Barcelona, with reports claiming that he had cancer.

Vodacom defies critics with listing and sale to Vodafone

Vodacom, the South African mobile phone company, overcame last-minute political obstacles to successfully raise US$3.5bn in its listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on May 18. The company also sold a 15% stake to Vodafone, giving the UK mobile company a 65% controlling stake in the firm.

Latvian PM to axe government spending

The newly-appointed prime minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, says his government is prepared to cut government spending by up to 40% in order to reduce the budget deficit and meet IMF austerity measures.

Hungary's ex-PM calls for central European alliance against Russia

Viktor Orban, the leader of the opposition party Fidesz in Hungary and a possible future prime minister, has called for a new central European alliance, to protect the interests of CEE countries within the EU. 

Speaking at the Euromoney CEE Conference in Vienna in mid-January, Orban said: “I feel that a central Europe alliance is necessary. We need an independent security policy; a means to ensure our energy security; and also an alliance to push forward transport integration in central Europe and to establish a common development policy for the region.”

EU raises concerns about Austria bank bail-out

The EU commission on competition has raised concerns about the Austrian government’s €2.7bn bail-out of Erste Bank at the end of October. Erste Bank is one of the largest banks in Austria and in central and eastern Europe.