Latest articles from Central & Eastern Europe

Overcautious approach may impede progress

November 7, 2005

President Alexander Lukashenko’s tight controls have ensured that Belarusians have not suffered in the slow transition to a market economy. But the same restrictions are curbing growth and foreign investment, as Ben Aris reports from Minsk.

Foreign banks’ domination of Bulgaria set to continue

November 7, 2005

With more than 83% of Bulgaria’s banking assets under the control of foreign banks or financial institutions, who has gained from the country’s banking privatisation in the past decade?

Rossisky resurrection

November 7, 2005

Rossisky Kredit Bank nearly went under in Russia’s 1998 financial crisis. Ben Aris reports from Moscow on how it weathered the storm and its miraculous comeback as an investment bank.
Rossisky Kredit Bank (RKB) is back from the dead. One of the dozen banks that were household names in the 1990s, but collapsed during the 1998 financial crisis, RKB is the only big Russian bank to have paid off all its debts and returned to profit.
RKB’s recovery is a damning condemnation of its peers, which walked away from billions of dollars in debt and left hundreds of thousands of pensioners destitute after they lost their life savings.

Quality pays off for Gazprombank

November 7, 2005

Investors are falling over themselves to buy bonds issued by Russia’s state-owned Gazprombank. Edward Russell-Walling explains why.
Russian banks are not always synonymous with credit quality. When Gazprombank came to market in September with a 10-year bond, however, the issue was more than six times oversubscribed. There are Russian banks, and Russian banks.

Foreign buyers speed up Bosnia consolidation

October 3, 2005

Consolidation in the Bosnian banking sector has accelerated further.

Market rallies out of the blue

October 3, 2005

As the Yukos affair fades into a one-off event, both domestic and foreign investors are showing renewed interest in Russian equities and IPOs.

Drive for project finance

October 3, 2005

Buoyant bond and stock markets, as well as legal complications, have discouraged project finance growth. But, as Ben Aris reports from Moscow, the sector is predicted to grow swiftly in the near future.

Moscow gets the real estate bug.

October 3, 2005

The cranes have arrived. With high oil and gas prices, rising personal incomes and political stability has come the real estate bug.

Rising star of the CIS

October 3, 2005

Kazakhstan is one of the leading lights of the ex-Soviet Bloc, with such well-developed banking and pension sectors that they are searching for somewhere to invest their money.Ben Aris reports from Almaty.
The trees that cloak the buildings in central Almaty provide only limited protection from the hot midday sun, but Kazakhs window-shopping in the new Ramstore shopping mall at the top of the city’s slope beneath the Tien Shan mountains are keeping cool.

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