Sunday, April 12, 2009

Differentiate emerging markets in CEE.

Economic crisis put more attention to Central and Eastern European economies. After some small European countries with high debt faced state collapse, it has triggered also aversion against CEE markets as such. But it is needed to put distinction among them and not to perceive them as one unit. All CEE markets attracted foreign capital from big Western European banks mostly from Austria, Belgium, Italy, France and others. Especially for smaller countries, share of bank foreign exposure reached high level in relation to country's GDP. The biggest bank exposure in CEE markets is in Austria (60% of GDP) or Belgium (30% of GDP).

Another risk came with local currency depreciation. In some countries it was far more popular to take loans in foreign currencies. In Hungary more than 60% of total loans were in foreign currencies, in EU newcomers Romania and Bulgaria it is about 50%, Poland 30% and in Czech Republic less than 10%.
As for Baltic states Bulgarian currency Leva has fixed pegs with Euro and therefore there is no currency risk for loan redemption.


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