Latest articles from Central & Eastern Europe

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.

Silver linings

October 4, 2004

Moscow-based Globexbank is one of Russia’s top 10 banks, and the crises of the 1990s and the recent mini-crisis have made it stronger. Ben Aris reports.

Tapping resources

October 4, 2004

With Russia’s banks failing to lend, it’s left to Russian companies to fend for themselves, showing an upturn in project finance.

Bonds hold back

October 4, 2004

Ben Aris reports from Moscow on how the banking crisis and policy changes have all but stalled the domestic bond market.

Hidden layers

October 4, 2004

Ben Aris reports from Moscow on the project finance legal reforms put forward by President Putin that look positive on paper, but in reality are fraught with difficulties.

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