The south-eastern European states formerly associated with the Soviet Union have been slow to privatise state-owned assets when compared with their western European neighbours, but political reforms and softening attitudes mean fresh momentum is spurring a wave of long-delayed sell-offs in the region, particularly in Serbia and Slovenia.
View from EBRD
Date: May 11-12
Location: London, UK
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) annual meeting and business forum will be held in London, United Kingdom on 11 - 12 May 2016.
The theme of the EBRD 2016 Business Forum will be ‘Influencing Change - the next 25 years’.
Europe editor, Stefanie Linhardt, will be at the annual meeting and business forum, and will cover the key themes and discussions from the event.
Key discussion points:
- A new world for SMEs? The next 25 years
- The process of change in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region
- The implications of COP21
- The road to an energy union
- Gender equality
Register today for free access to three articles every month and ensure you are fully up to date with all the topics discussed at the event.
Interview with Suma Chakrabarti, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Suma Chakrabarti, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development speaks to The Banker's Europe editor Stefanie Linhardt about the EBRD's achievements in its 25 year history, where there is still scope for the bank to work, the EBRD's climate initiative as the bank's involvement in Greece since becoming a country of operation in 2015.
- Interview with Zdravko Marić, finance minister, Croatia
- Interview with Oleksandr Danylyuk, finance minister, Ukraine - View from EBRD
- Interview with Marek Belka, governor, National Bank of Poland - View from EBRD
- Interview with Carlo Vivaldi, head of CEE division, UniCredit - View from EBRD
- Round up with Stefanie Linhardt, Europe editor, The Banker - View from EBRD
- Interview with Tomasz Telma, director, Europe and central Asia, IFC - View from EBRD
- Interview with Taleh Kazimov, CEO and chairman, Pasha Bank - View from EBRD
As the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development celebrates its silver anniversary, president Suma Chakrabarti tells Stefanie Linhardt why the bank is looking south to the Mediterranean and beyond in search of new opportunities.
While most large Russian banks have managed to hold onto their position relative to each other, they have all suffered significant falls in Tier 1 capital and profits as they find themselves challenged by currency depreciation and difficult market conditions. Written by Matthew Karwacki, research by Valeria Yakutovich.
Negotiating through dangerous territory in the restructuring of Ukrainian sovereign debt, PJT Partners' EMEA restructuring team opted to utilise a value recovery instrument in a novel way, to the satisfaction of parties on either side of the deal.
Riccardo Orcel, the head of global banking at VTB Capital, speaks to Stefanie Linhardt about cultivating the bank’s domestic Russian operation and taking an idiosyncratic approach to growing business in global markets.
Despite a slowing economy, political turbulence and currency depreciation, Turkey’s banks have remained healthy. But rising costs and falling profitability have some in the industry worried, as Tom Stevenson discovers.
Bulgarian lenders bucked the trend as Tier 1 capital contracted in most of central and eastern Europe, while Czech institutions retained their status as most profitable banks in the region.
Having shed two of its assets – the exchanges of Budapest and Ljubljana – the CEE Stock Exchange Group, with owner Vienna Stock Exchange at the helm, is steering a new strategic course. Its aim, as Stefanie Linhardt reports, is to become a leading service provider for central and eastern Europe's exchanges.
While consolidation is likely to change the face of Slovenia’s banking system in the coming years, in the near term issues with low profitability are top of the agenda. And, despite the creation of a bad bank to expunge the problem of non-performing loans, many banks still have a far from healthy loan book.
Slovenia's economy was in a precarious position, even by current European standards, as recently as 2013. The country's central bank governor, Boštjan Jazbec, explains how a return to health has been achieved through methods that were not universally popular.
An influx of taxes on the Polish banking sector, increasingly levels of regulation and 2015's collapse of SK Bank are threatening to add up to a large bill for the country's banks – meaning that profits are under threat.
Things are looking up for banks in Cyprus, as the financial sector and economy recover. But a difficult journey still lies ahead with NPLs still high and calls for consolidation among the country's banks growing louder.
There is a real chance that the Greek economy could recover significantly in 2016 following the successful recapitalisation of its main banks late last year, but first the country must take some important steps, not least regaining the trust of foreign investors, according to John (Iannis) Mourmouras, the senior deputy governor of the Bank of Greece.
After a turbulent few years, Europe faces political pressure over the Syrian refugee crisis, the prospect of a Brexit and further financial instability within the eurozone, with Greece never far from the news. Stefanie Linhardt speaks to seven economists about the region's prospects for the coming 12 months.
International financial institutions remain crucial in central and eastern Europe as the fallout from the financial crisis continues to make its presence felt. But just how far should these development banks go in helping to resolve the various crises that have hit the countries of this region in recent years?