Latest articles from Central & Eastern Europe

Defending Russia’s record

January 3, 2005

Alexei Kudrin, Finance Minister of the Russian Federation and The Banker’s Finance Minister of the Year, talked to Karina Robinson in London about the challenges facing the Russian economy in what looks like a defining moment in its path towards becoming a liberal market economy.

Commonwealth of Independent States

January 3, 2005

The CIS banking systems are marked out by the abundance of small banks; weak capitalisation; lack of transparency (particularly with regard to ownership); concentration of business to associated companies; and rapid asset and loan growth. Allied to the possibility of economic and political shocks, this puts them among the riskiest in the world.

Transition countries’ split-level development

January 3, 2005

Analysis of the Top 50 Fastest Growing Banks in EBRD transition countries reveals a gap between those countries that are near to completing the process of change – such as the new EU members – and those that have yet to begin. Moreover, there is a discernible trade-off between speed of growth and risk to investors.

Top 50 central European banks

January 3, 2005

The low representation of banks from central Europe in the Top 50 fastest growing banks is perhaps a reflection of the relative maturity of the financial and economic systems in the majority of the region and the increasing competition for market share.

Bulgaria pulls up a seat at the EU table

December 1, 2004

With plans to sign an accession agreement next year, Bulgaria is preparing itself to become a EU member. Nick Kochan reports from The Banker’s conference.
Bulgaria has moved centre stage among the nations of central Europe. In due course, this will translate into a seat at the EU members’ table, perhaps as early as 2007. These considerations are driving Bulgarian economic and structural policy today.
That was clear at The Banker business conference, Banking on Bulgaria, held recently in London and sponsored by investment fund Equest. Solomon Passy, Bulgaria’s foreign affairs minister, told the conference that his government had two priorities when it came to power three years ago: the first was membership of NATO, which was achieved shortly after the election; the second was to prepare the country for EU membership.

Russian banking remains buoyant

December 1, 2004

Despite turbulence in the banking system this summer, the overall forecast is good for the financial sector.

Mini-banking blip hides Russian boom

December 1, 2004

While Russia’s central bank had to rebuff talk of a crisis this year, a surge in retail and investment banking went unnoticed. Meanwhile, the crisis that never happened also spurred reforms, writes Ben Aris.

Savers chase yield

November 4, 2004

Central Europeans’ appetite for more sophisticated and varied products is growing, providing the region’s big retail banks with an opportunity to cash in. The mutual fund business, in particular, could benefit, reports Nicholas Spiro.

Key players look east

November 4, 2004

A report by Austria’s Raiffeisen International on the banking markets in 20 central and European countries paints a picture of privatisation and enormous potential. Stephen Timewell reports.

Taking the lead

October 4, 2004

Alexander V Zakharov, deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank, explains how the Russian bank has overcome various challenges to financing some of the country’s major domestic and export-oriented investment projects.

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