Having tackled the country's tax system in 2016, Czech Republic finance minister Andrej Babiš is turning his energies to the task of promoting growth while reducing the deficit. He talks to Stefanie Linhardt.
Central & Eastern Europe
Latest articles from Czech Republic
As US conglomerate GE widely withdraws from banking in Europe, its latest and last beneficiary has been renamed Moneta Money Bank, which has reworked itself for the local Czech market. Stefanie Linhardt reports.
Bulgarian lenders bucked the trend as Tier 1 capital contracted in most of central and eastern Europe, while Czech institutions retained their status as most profitable banks in the region.
For years, Austrian lenders Erste Bank and Raiffeisen Bank have enjoyed strong profits at their central and eastern European operations, but with growth in these economies slowing, more recent results suggest that they may need to rethink their strategies in the region.
Central and eastern European banks in the EU faced a sluggish 2013, but Poland led the region in terms of growth and the Czech Republic in terms of returns. Baltic banks are also starting to rise to the challenge.
Société Générale CIB arranged a record large loan for PPF Group to buy out Telefonica's Czech subsidiary, and found plentiful liquidity in local currency.
The European Central Bank has helped assuage fears of an imminent eurozone breakup, but sovereign, supranational and agency debt management officials must still contend with ratings downgrades and difficult political and fiscal situations in a number of countries. The Banker hears from a range of EU issuers both inside and outside the eurozone.
The eurozone's troubles of the past few years have meant that the headlines have been dominated by those countries deemed likely to leave the currency union. However, there are EU members that still wish to sign up to euro membership. The question is, why?