The crisis in Cyprus has renewed concerns about the stability of the EU’s emerging markets, potentially ending the region’s recent run of good luck when it comes to market sentiment.
Poland, the Czech Republic and even Hungary have been able to borrow at very low rates, while the region is showing signs that the economy bottomed out towards the end of last year and should recover by the second half of this year. Continue reading »
The numbers are in and they’re not pretty.
Growth in central Europe is only at a sluggish 0.8 per cent – lower than any time since the depths of the economic crisis in 2009. Continue reading »
Household investments in mutual funds can tell you a lot about a country. They should be a proxy for economic development, as more cash to spare means more to invest. But they can also reflect things like the state of the welfare system and cultural attitudes towards investment. Generali PPF Asset Management has analysed data from the past eight years on this subject for central and eastern Europe and the results make interesting reading. Continue reading »
As two of the biggest beasts in the central and east European banking jungle, Raiffeissen Bank and Unicredit’s Bank Austria have good reason to talk up the region’s prospects. Right now, they have a motive too: over 1,200 delegates are in Vienna on Tuesday and Wednesday for an annual Euromoney conference that is a key date in the CEE investor calendar. Continue reading »
Even for a bank that has pulled through central and eastern Europe’s recent banking shocks (notably Hungary’s), making money is hard going.
Shares in Raiffeisen Bank International , the region’s second-biggest lender, plunged 5 per cent on Wednesday after it missed analysts’ forecasts. Continue reading »
By Atanas Bostandjiev of VTB Capital
This week’s announcement that a consortium led by VTB Capital, the investment banking arm of VTB Group, has completed the acquisition of Vivacom, one of Bulgaria’s leading telecoms operators, is a clear sign of the opportunity frontier markets still offer investors. Continue reading »
As beyondbrics wrote last week, Poland and the Czech Republic are going separate ways as they try to get out of the eurozone crisis: Poland easing the brakes on fiscal policy in an attempt to boost growth, the Czech Republic clinging to austerity like a drowning man clinging to a log.
But if Wednesday’s purchasing mangers’ indices published by HSBC and Markit Economics are any guide, the two policies are delivering the same dismal results: the seventh straight month of deteriorating business conditions, with barely a tenth of a decimal point between them. Continue reading »
By Nicholas Watson of bne
The crisis in the eurozone has cast a pall over Europe’s M&A market this year, but a combination of valuations coming down and private equity with cash to burn means the emerging European market at least is showing signs of life. Continue reading »
The outsourcing sector may not be particularly glamorous – and the words “contact centre” may be loaded with associations of irritating unsolicited telephone calls – but it’s certainly a big earner for many emerging markets. India and the Philippines are two of the better-known outsourcing destinations.
Some eastern European countries have also found outsourcing niches for themselves, capitalising on their location, low overheads and a workforce of technically-able graduates. The business process outsourcing sector has become something of a success story for Bulgaria, where it employs around 15,000 people and generates revenues of €200m, according to the official Invest Bulgaria Agency. Continue reading »
The state of Poland’s residential property market has analysts grasping for words to describe what’s going on – although a glance in the thesaurus for adjectives such as “dreadful”, “awful” and “gloomy” might help.
In its latest look at the selling prices of flats in Poland’s largest cities, Open Finance, a real estate advisory company, finds that the slump which started in late 2007 shows no signs of slowing. Continue reading »
Mondi, the South African paper and packaging manufacturer, has changed a lot over the past half century. “In the 1960s, we were a newsprint company – that was all we made,” says David Hathorn, chief executive at the group. “Newsprint now represents 2 per cent of our revenue.”
Today, the Johannesburg-based company (which is listed in London) makes everything from paper and corrugated cardboard boxes, to the lids on tubes of Pringles and parts of nappies. Before their products were covered only in ink – now they have to handle a whole host of substances. Continue reading »
The economic gloom seeping out of western Europe is creating increasing difficulties for the small and open economies of central Europe – with both Hungary and the Czech Republic now in recession.
However, Slovakia, the smallest and most open of the three countries, is powering ahead, notching up 2.7 per cent annual GDP growth in the second quarter, thanks largely to the European motor industry. Continue reading »
The Romanian leu strengthened by as much as 1 per cent against the euro on Monday after preliminary results of the weekend’s poll showed that president Traian Basescu had survived a referendum on his impeachment, called by the leftist government of prime minister Victor Ponta.
But the relief will probably be short-lived. Basescu survived only because less than half the electorate turned out. The vote will to nothing to bury an increasingly acrimonious political battle that has raised international concerns about the rule of law. The leu could easily be heading back to new lows. Continue reading »
Avast Software’s decision to pull its Nasdaq IPO just days before it was due to be priced is a blow to those who had hoped the international offerings from AVG Technologies and Epam Systems earlier this year signalled a new foreign investor interest in emerging Europe’s fast-growing technology companies.
As bne reported on Wednesday, the anti-virus software provider Avast postponed its IPO due to what a spokeswoman described as “overall bad market conditions”. Avast had been expected to issue 9m shares, which if priced at the mid-point of the $9-11 per share range, would have raised $90m and valued the Dutch-based company – though like AVG it has its roots in the Czech Republic – at €846m. Continue reading »
More downward GDP revisions, this time from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The culprit: concern over the spreading impact of the eurozone crisis.
The EBRD slashed its overall growth forecasts for 29 countries from central Europe to central Asia. The region’s growth is now estimated to be 2.7 per cent in 2012, down from growth of 4.6 per cent in 2011. Continue reading »