Latest articles from Jan Cienski

CEE reels from Swiss franc exposure

CEE reels from Swiss franc exposure

March 2, 2015

As the Swiss National Bank removed its cap against the euro, the risk of borrowing in foreign currencies was made clear, as countries that had been busily borrowing in the Swiss franc reeled at the impact of its sudden appreciation. 

Jumping ship: the decreasing value of the rouble has caused some domestic savers to convert their assets into foreign currency

Belarus banks hit more turbulence

October 1, 2013

With inflation still high following a financial crisis in 2011, there are growing signs that Belarusian banks may need to brace for a further round of currency depreciation and asset quality deterioration.

Change of pace: the National Bank of Slovakia (pictured) expects Slovakia’s economic growth to slow in 2013, which will dampen prospects in the banking sector

Slovak banks struggle to maintain success story

July 1, 2013

Slovakia's banks are a rare bright spot in a crisis-strewn eurozone with their strong balance sheets, but they are not immune from falling external demand and tax hikes.

Poland feels the strain

Europe's ongoing economic woes take toll on Poland

October 1, 2012

For the past five years, Poland's economy has been something of an anomaly in Europe, maintaining a healthy level of growth despite the widespread economic malaise surrounding it. But with many of the country's banks facing steep losses from foreign exchange mortgages and construction sector loans, and with parent banks looking to drain liquidity from their Polish operations, cracks are starting to show.

Slovakia Euro

The Czech Republic and Slovakia tread similar banking paths

May 4, 2011

The Czech and Slovak republics headed down different paths when Slovakia adopted the euro in 2009 but the business model and performance of the two countries’ banks remain remarkably similar.

Winners and losers in the downturn

January 5, 2009

One of the world’s fastest-growing regions during the boom years, eastern Europe became one of the major victims of the credit crunch as aggressive lending strategies turned sour. But there are still plenty of banks in a position to thrive. Writer Jan Cienski in Warsaw.

No crisis from credit crunch

April 7, 2008

Czech banks’ strategy is protecting them from direct effects of the US subprime crisis, although they could be affected indirectly. Jan Cienski reports from Prague.

Pekao comes out on top from epic amalgamation

February 4, 2008

Jan Cienski reports from Warsaw on the complex, drawn-out merger of Pekao SA and BPH – an alliance that has created the largest bank in Poland.

Battle lines drawn

November 5, 2007

The controversial Polish Financial Supervision Authority is stuck in a political war with the government over who should control the country’s banks, writes Jan Cienski in Warsaw.

Rebuilding an empire

November 5, 2007

Jan Cienski in Prague reports on Erste Bank’s hugely successful expansion into the countries that once formed the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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