Latest articles from Central & Eastern Europe

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.

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.

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