Latest articles from Central & Eastern Europe

New engines for growth of trade

July 2, 2004

Ben Aris reports from Kiev on the benefits that the new eastern bloc CES alliance is expected to bring and on the country’s growing relationship with the EU.
The leaders of the four biggest countries in eastern Europe gathered in the Crimean resort of Yalta in May to create their answer to the EU: the Common Economic Space (CES). The new free trade zone is designed to feed flourishing economic growth in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Bids to be universal

July 2, 2004

Ben Aris reports from Kiev on the shape of the banking sector and banks’ strategies to build up universal business now that the economy is faring well.

Results of reform

July 2, 2004

Serhiy Tihipko, chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine, talks to Ben Aris in Kiev about economic progress and developments in the banking sector.

Corporates issue forth

July 2, 2004

The Ukranian economy is undercapitalised and companies are placing a steady stream of corporate bond issues to raise investment, says Ben Aris in Kiev.

Hopes float high

July 2, 2004

The capitalisation of the Ukrainian stock market is rising on the back of strong economic growth, and the growth is expected to accelerate.

New entrants in profits drive

June 2, 2004

Matei Paun reports on the host of foreign banks hoping to cash in on Romania’s burgeoning finance sector.

Russia and Ukraine ratify UEA

June 2, 2004

The Ukrainian and Russian parliaments ratified an agreement, at the end of April, to create a free-trade Unified Economic Area (UEA). The pact, tying the two fast-growing economies more closely together, has forged the European Union of the east.

The future of Russian banking

June 2, 2004

With a new presidential term for Vladimir Putin and crucial administrative reforms underway, Ben Aris considers the future shape of Russia’s over-banked financial system.

Albania sells off Savings Bank for $126m to Austria’s RZB

May 3, 2004

Austria’s Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB) has expanded its role in central and eastern Europe with the 100% acquisition of Albania’s largest bank, the Savings Bank of Albania. Following the failure of earlier attempts to privatise the bank, plans were announced by the government last September to sell it by tender and RZB paid $126m for all the bank, representing a 2.5 multiple ofbook value.

GDP measurement bugs Bulgaria

May 3, 2004

Measuring GDP is an extremely complex and error-prone process. Investment pay-outs on bonds should be based on criteria that are definitive and easy to measure. For that reason, linking payments to the growth in a country’s GDP could never be anything other than challenging even though the sense of the idea (you pay more when you earn more) is indisputable.

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