The latest ranking of EU banks shows balance sheets and capital have shrunk for most on the back of a weakening euro, while Spanish banks managed to increase their profitability and specialised banks emerged with the highest returns.
Latest articles from Central & Eastern Europe
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?
China's One Belt, One Road initiative – building a new Silk Road between western Europe and China's east coast as well as improving the Maritime Silk Road – will be a major game changer for international trade. Stefania Palma assesses its possible impact.
Ukraine has experienced a devastating sequence of events in recent years, but now, thanks to the new government's reform programme, its citizens can look to a brighter future, says the country's finance minister Natalie Jaresko.
Serbia's economic struggles have been well documented over the past few years, with its fiscal deficit particularly worrying. The country's finance minister, Dušan Vujović, tells Stefanie Linhardt how the government's reforms are already advancing down a route he hopes will lead to full EU accession.
The turmoil in Greece is having an impact on financial markets throughout the eurozone, but this impact may be felt greater in its five neighbours where Greek banks have a particularly large presence: Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.
Reform-minded Natalie Jaresko has had a tough baptism in her role as Ukraine's finance minister. However, she is determined to demonstrate the safety of the country's banking sector and show that Ukraine is still an attractive investment destination, as she tells Stefanie Linhardt.
In an economy that is highly dollarised and in which the local currency has gone through a bout of devaluation, Georgia's central bank governor, Giorgi Kadagidze, has his work cut out. However, in taking a long-term approach, rather than looking for any quick fixes, he is confident that the country can achieve its currency goals.
Stringent capital requirements set by the Central Bank of Armenia will test many of the country's banks, which are already struggling in a slowing economy. But for those that already meet the new standards, the opportunities arising from possible consolidation could provide a much-needed avenue to growth.
Russian banks still account for the top three positions in the central and eastern European ranking, but their positions have been weakened after a tough year for the country's economy.
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