Most clients of the failed bank, Ukio Bankas, Lithuanian sixth-largest lender by assets, received some good news this week – they can access their bank accounts once more.
It was the latest development in the rapid rescue of the operations of Ukio by Siauliu Bankas, the country’s seventh-largest bank, and a clear sign that Lithuanian banking has been stabilised after the upheaval. Continue reading »
Lithuania’s central bank is moving quickly to clear up the country’s latest banking collapse after Ukio Bankas, the country’s sixth-largest lender by assets, was declared insolvent and had its licence terminated.
It is seeking buyers for Ukio’s operations, after its activities were suspended and an interim administrator appointed. Siauliu Bankas, one of Lithuania’s ten biggest banks, is the main contender to take over the assets, rights, transactions and liabilities. Continue reading »
Economic growth of 3 per cent in the eurozone? It sounds like a statistical error at a time when the common currency area is braced for a 0.4 per cent drop. But Estonia is set to record a 3 per cent expansion in 2012, nearly double the government’s forecast at the start of the year. And officials expect another 3 per cent in 2013.
Much of this is a rebound from the extra-severe shock that passed through Estonia and the other two Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania in 2009 when Estonian GDP dropped by a cumulative 18 per cent. Continue reading »
Nuclear power has long held the possibility of energy independence for central Europe, freeing it from its heavy reliance on imports of Russian natural gas. But a series of political and corporate decision across the region in the last few days leaves the future of atomic power murkier than ever. Continue reading »
Bulgaria (and France) may have moratoriums on it, lawyers may make a mint on it, Gazprom chiefs may curse it, and wells may cost three times the US price to get at it – but shale gas development in central and eastern Europe is “inevitable” in the next decade.
So says KPMG in a recent report – highlighting Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and to a lesser extent, Lithuania, Hungary and Bulgaria – as the main countries set to benefit from what the professional services firm says are the “fantastic opportunities, lying beneath peoples’ feet.” Continue reading »
The mood turned sour again on European markets on Monday, as fresh worries about Greece rattled investors’ nerves. But that didn’t stop Lithuania getting a one-year bond auction away at a pretty impressive yield, on the day the country said its economy grew by a healthy 4.3 per cent last year.
Nevertheless, a glance behind the headline figures suggests that even where things look cheerful, investors should be cautious. Continue reading »
These are desperate times and central banks all over the world are turning to extraordinary measures to pump liquidity into ailing banking systems. Lithuania’s central bank is no exception. On Tuesday it sent a clear signal to its banks that it is ready to act if needed. Continue reading »
The Czech economy contracted in the third quarter, falling by 0.1 per cent compared to the second as all elements of demand slowed, according to the central bank. This was the Republic’s first contraction since 2009. A recession, technically two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction, could be just around the corner.
Beyondbrics has taken a look at how its neighbours are faring – and how much they all depend on exports to the EU. The prognosis is not great. Continue reading »
Another European bank in need of a rescue. This time it’s a small bank in a small country but the Lithuanian government’s surprise decision to take control of Bank Snoras will have officials elsewhere redoubling checks on their own institutions.
Vilnius insisted on Thursday its banks were safe after the state’s takeover on Wednesday of Lithuania’s fifth-largest bank by assets. The authorities acted after finding an alleged hole of 1bn litas ($392m) in the bank’s balance sheet. Continue reading »
As parts of the eurozone brace for a possible double-dip recession next year, the outlook for the emerging countries in central and eastern Europe looks a lot more resilient, according to a new report from Austria’s Erste Bank.
The key to the rosier outlook for the CEE region is that it looks to be a lot less vulnerable to external turbulence than was the case in 2008 and 2009. Continue reading »
Panic over for CEE? Not quite. Equities in central and eastern Europe are down again on Monday, after a recovery last week, and the main central European currencies are again softening against the euro and Swiss Franc. Continue reading »
Lithuania will always be a minnow in global terms. Yet, with a population of 3.4m, it is easily the biggest of the three Baltic states.
So, when the country announced much stronger-than-expected quarterly economic data on Friday, it raised recovery hopes for the whole region. Continue reading »
It was not only Lithuania left disappointed by the collapse of talks with Kepco of South Korea over the proposed construction of a new nuclear reactor in the country.
Fellow Baltic states Estonia and Latvia are also counting on the project to provide energy security to a former Soviet region still uncomfortably dependent on Russian fuel supplies. Continue reading »
The title of “biggest bank in the Baltics” has been something of booby prize of late for Swedish lender Swedbank. When the financial crisis hit, the company saw its debt downgraded and its share price halve, partly as a result of its exposure to the region.
But Swedbank’s quarterly results published on Thursday are a modest sign that the Baltics can be more than dead weight. The bank’s business in the region is back in profit for the first time since 2008 and contributed one-fifth of overall earnings. Continue reading »