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May 13, 2013
via Global Investing

Eastern European banks: good and bad

First, some good news – eastern European banks are relatively profitable. Austrian bank Raiffeisen, which is heavily involved in the region, published a report at the weekend which showed:

In terms of growth and profit, the banking sectors in the CEE (central and eastern Europe) region continue to outperform their Western European counterparts.

May 11, 2013

EBRD considers lifelines for small business in emerging Europe

ISTANBUL, May 11 (Reuters) – The European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering ways to
help small businesses in emerging Europe, including through
direct lending, as the region suffers lacklustre growth, its
president said on Saturday.

The European Central Bank and the International Monetary
Fund have also expressed concern about the reluctance of banks
to lend, so delaying a longed-for recovery in Europe.

May 10, 2013

European development bank cuts growth forecast for emerging economies

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Europe’s development bank slashed its 2013 growth forecasts for emerging Europe and North Africa on Friday by almost a full percentage point, saying a sharp slowdown in Russia would drag down the regional economy.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said Russia’s problems should galvanize the region to pull down barriers to new businesses and investment.

May 10, 2013

Libyan police stations bombed, British embassy cuts staff

TRIPOLI/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Bombs exploded outside two police stations in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi on Thursday and Britain temporarily cut staff at its embassy in Tripoli because of security fears.

The blasts, which caused damage but no casualties, were the latest signs of insecurity in Benghazi, the birthplace of the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

May 10, 2013

Serbia’s 2013 budget deficit could be as high as 4.5 pct of GDP -FinMin

ISTANBUL, May 10 (Reuters) – Serbia’s budget deficit this
year could be as much as 4.5 percent of national output, wider
than previously forecast, Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic said
on Friday.

Serbia had originally targeted a shortfall of 3.6 percent of
gross domestic product for 2013, although the International
Monetary Fund and economists warned the projection was too
optimistic.

May 8, 2013

Slow western growth, geopolitical risks haunt emerging Europe

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Stuck between sluggish economies
in the west and rising geopolitical risks in the Middle East,
emerging European countries are struggling to attract investment
and boost growth.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will
discuss ways of “Innovating for Growth” at its annual meeting
this weekend in Istanbul – seen as the cornerstone of its region
of operation of central and eastern Europe and North Africa.

May 3, 2013

Bond yields too low? There’s always Rwanda

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – Last summer, euro zone member
Spain was struggling to borrow money for 10 years at a yield
below 7 percent. Last week, Rwanda had no trouble.

Rock-bottom interest rates in the developed world have left
investors scrambling for yield, while economies in the
developing world are eager to raise capital to boost their
economies and reduce their dependence on international aid.

Apr 28, 2013

Investors hunt for emerging bank shares as euro casts shadow over west

LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) – The euro zone debt crisis has
made investors wary of western European bank stocks and they are
seeking more value and less risk in banks in central Europe,
Russia, Turkey and even Africa.

The problems of western Europe’s banking sector, from losses
on Greek debt to a bailout for Cyprus that hit big depositors or
the governance scandal at Italy’s Monte dei Paschi,
have undermined old assumptions about relative stability.

Apr 25, 2013

Easy markets access can delay reforms in emerging Europe: EBRD

LONDON (Reuters) – Some emerging European countries are able to delay much-needed reforms because they can borrow money in international markets without strings attached, the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Thursday.

With money-printing in the developed world driving investors to seek higher-yielding assets, countries such as Hungary and Ukraine have issued dollar debt this year, avoiding the need to implement unpopular measures to win international funding.

Apr 24, 2013
via Global Investing

Rwanda plays into African debt demand

Rwanda is planning to launch its debut $400 million 10-year Eurobond today, less than two decades (corrects time period) after it was torn apart by genocide. It is the latest chapter in the story of African bond issuance which has stepped up in recent years, exploiting investors’ hunger for yield.

The bond may yield well above 7 percent — attractive at a time when Italian 10-year yields, one of the riskier punts within the euro zone,  have fallen below 4 percent.  Frontier markets broker Exotix has the Rwandan deal as one of its five fixed income trades to watch. Their analysts say:

    • About Carolyn

      "I work in London as part of the Reuters investment strategy editorial team, specialising in emerging and frontier markets. I cover emerging bond, stock and FX markets as well as global market themes, and interview emerging market policy-makers when they attend events in London. I started at Reuters in 1993, writing about foreign exchange, government bonds and Eurobonds before switching to emerging markets."
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