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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: