Published by Eurasia Insights   Issue 13, Thursday 08 September 2011

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BankWatch 13
20 August– 7 September 2011

So much for the quiet life

A summer of restful days next to the pool was not to be had for many in the financial sector this year. Whether it was dramatic falls on the stock market or fear of the next eurozone bail out it was beginning to look like nothing had changed since October 2008.

But change it has. For better, and in some cases worse, Eastern Europe’s banks continue to recover with a slew of positive results this week to capping another solid quarter, while Greece muddles on and the financial sector begins to consolidate in expectation of more problems to come.

Likewise the Western land-grab that shaped much of the first part of the new millennium seems well and truly over. Russia is striding into markets quickly being vacated by over-leveraged Western institutions that are also quickly retreating from Russia’s banking scene – although possibly for quite different reasons.

But so what? Well for one thing all this movement and retrenchment may not matter much to the average person, but it is indicative of a much wider trend – the ascendance of emerging markets and their banks. A trend that will shape the region’s economic landscape, its development and its influence for years to come. IBM’s announcement that it has signed deals for hardware and systems upgrades with 20 regional banks should therefore come as no surprise – the rise of a new group of banking giants is only just beginning.

The Eurasia Payments Report 2011 - our unique study of 19 cards and payments marketplaces across Eastern Europe and Central Asia - is now available. Find out more here

The Editor

Banking results

Russia: Gazprombank 2011 Q1 profit jumps 31%

Gazprombank, the banking arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom, saw its January-March 2011 net profit increase 31 percent year-on-year to 30.988 billion roubles ($1.07 billion). More...

Source: Ria Novosti
Date: 30 August 2011

Austria: Raiffeisen Q2 profits more than double, readies for capital increase

Raiffeisen Bank International announced that it could be ready to increase its share capital within a year as it announced strong second quarter profits well above analyst expectations. More...

Source: Reuters
Date: 25 August 2011

Hungary: OTP profits rise 36% in second quarter but braces for downturn

OTP Bank, Hungary’s largest lender, said profit growth is likely to suffer from the deteriorating global economic environment and provisions against risks may rise. More...

Source: Bloomberg
Date: 19 August 2011

Mergers, deals, market moves

Russia: Banks brace for possible Eurozone debt shock

Stress tests conducted in Russia have displayed the potential losses if the eurozone suffers a serious debt shock. A top Russian central bank official says losses for Russian lenders could reach as much as $12 billion. More...

Source: Hurriyet Daily News
Date: 5 September 2011

Georgia: Bank of Georgia prepares for London listing

The country’s largest bank prepares for a listing in London on the back of strong asset growth and a positive outlook for the country’s economy. More...

Date: 5 September 2011

Greece: Eurobank and Alpha Bank agree merger to form regional leader

In a bid to stave off further volatility from the ongoing crisis in Greece, Eurobank and Alpha bank have agreed to merge. The deal will create the largest bank in South East Europe with combined assets of €146 billion. More...

Source: Romania Insider
Date: 1 September 2011

Russia: Bank regulator steps down

The head of supervision at Russia’s central bank after a series of scandals in which regulators failed to detect mismanagement in some of the country’s largest banks. More...

Source: Reuters
Date: 30 August 2011

Czech Republic: Stress show banks stronger than EU counterparts

The recent round of stress tests on banks in the Czech Republic has shown the resilience of the local banking sector. More...

Source: Reuters
Date: 30 August 2011

Russia: Sberbank buys VBI for €585 million

Sberbank has agreed to buy VBI, the eastern European arm of Austrian lender Oesterreichische Volksbanken, for €585 million. Volksbank has a 51% stake in VBI, France’s Banque Populaire Caisse D’Epargne and German DZ Bank each hold 24.5%. More...

Source: Reuters
Date: 29 August 2011

Russia: Barclays on verge of Russian exit

UK bank Barclays is in the final stages of selling its Russian bank Expobank to Kazakhstan’s largest lender. The bank is expected to crystallise a loss from the sale of the bank that it bought in 2008. Barclays will continue to do business in Russia through Barclays Capital. More...

Source: Sky News
Date: 27 August 2011

Azerbaijan: Mobile operator launches SMS banking for Kapital Bank customers

Mobile operator Bakcell has announced the launch of SMS banking services for Kapital Bank customers. The service is available to holders of the banks’ payment cards. More...

Date: 27 August 2011

Russia: Sberbank eyes acquisitions in Poland

Sberbank is mulling acquisition of Bank Millennium or Kredyt Bank, two Polish banks put up on offer by their Western European owners according to More...

Source: Warsaw Voice
Date: 24 August 2011


Wincor installs 1000th ATM in Belarus

The ATM and self service manufacturer has reportedly sold its 1000th ATM in Belarus to Belarusbank. This takes the banks number of Wincor self service terminals to 610. More...

Source: Wincor Nixdorf
Date: 1 September 2011

IBM announces deals with Central & Eastern European banks

US IT and solutions provider has announced a series of deals with banks across the region including Sberbank, PKO Polski and Garanti with a combined value of more than $130 million. IBM is providing new hardware, software and systems to help the banks modernise their core banking infrastructure and respond to increased demand for online and mobile banking and payments. More...

Source: Bank Systems and Technology
Date: 26 August 2011

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About Eurasia Insights

Eurasia Insights is a research firm focused on analysis, measurement and benchmarking of the emerging financial services industry of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Our firm has two core product ranges:

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