Central & Eastern Europe: Banking and Finance
Inside this issue
• The region is suffering from its reliance on western Europe
• A report on how financial services are faring as the recession ends
• There are signs of optimism in financial markets across the region - -
These are nervous times for the economies of central and eastern Europe. Just when the region was recovering, albeit hesitantly and unevenly, from last year’s recession, along came the Greek crisis, tensions in the eurozone and another bout of global financial turmoil.
The shocks set off by the global financial crisis are still reverberating around the world, but that has not stopped McKinsey, the consultancy, from opening a knowledge centre in the western Polish city of Wroclaw, similar to its other outsourcing centres in China, India and the US.
As an 18-month storm subsided, banks in central Europe entered calmer waters in 2010, albeit with a variety of tricky channels still left to navigate.
The Greek debt crisis threatened a nasty sting in the tail for a region that a little over a year ago was talked of in terms similar to those used of Greece today. With luck, however, the giant eurozone rescue package should ensure central and eastern Europe’s recovery is not derailed.
Russia’s biggest banks are preparing to expand retail lending as they start to recover from a crisis year that all but wiped out profits for many of them, as non-performing loans multiplied.
The arrival of spring, early signs of a global economic recovery and a measure of domestic political stability brought on by the passing of this year’s hotly contested presidential election have all helped ease the gloom hanging over Ukraine’s near-term economic prospects.