Latest articles from Central & Eastern Europe

PKO’s future is uncertain

May 3, 2004

Poland’s state savings bank’s long-delayed initial public offering is under threat, yet its CEO is optimistic. Nicholas Spiro reports from Warsaw.

Analysis: Modernisation under way

May 3, 2004

The accession of transition economies to the EU will have a big impact on European payments sectors, reports Michael J McEvoy.

We love you, we love you not

April 5, 2004

Personal customers in the Czech Republic and Poland have mixed feelings towards the foreign banks that dominate their financial services industries,a new survey shows. Michael Imeson reports.

Eyes on the prize

April 5, 2004

As Romania does all it can to create a smooth path towards EU membership, investors are discovering that the countries holds great promise. Matei Paun reports from Bucharest.

BCR: Romania’s banking giant

April 5, 2004

Banca Comerciala Romana is awakening to a world of opportunities and challenges With its know-how and a 300-strong branch and agency network, it is well-placed to distribute its products and services and make headway in the retail market.
Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) is the Romanian banking sector’s sleeping giant. Not only is it the largest bank, with roughly a 30% market share and nearly four million customers (doubled from two million in early 2000), but in the period 2000-2003 it generated total profits of almost $750m. In 2003 it delivered a strong performance with net profits of over $160m, in line with 2002’s performance.

Foreign banks’ invasion pays

April 5, 2004

Privatisation in the Romanian banking sector has sent foreign assets soaring in the last six years. And the flurry of activity shows no signs of dissipating.
Since privatisation began with the 1998 sale of the Romanian Development Bank (BRD) to France’s Société Générale Groupe, the percentage of banking assets represented by foreign banks in Romania has skyrocketed to more than 50%. Besides the French, the Austrians are traditional players in the central and eastern Europe (CEE) banking sector, as are the Greeks, playing on their regional familiarity. The Dutch, Italians and even the Americans, through Citibank, also have considerable presence.

A cautious approach

April 5, 2004

Mugur Isarescu, governor of the National Bank of Romania, tells Matei Paun why he decided to issue a set of regulations that limit retail banking growth.

Non-banking boomtime

April 5, 2004

Just as the banking sector is benefiting from better economic times in Romania, mortgages insurance and pensions are all making great steps forward.

Shoots of growth

April 5, 2004

Positive economic indicators in Romania have heralded an influx in foreign direct investment. Thus opening new doors for the country’s financial sector.

Foreign banks join Russia’s capital markets party

April 5, 2004

As the economic good times roll in Russia, foreign banks are either bolstering their current operations or looking for a way in, says Geraldine Lambe.

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