Subdued domestic demand and low exports, limited credit growth due to high non-performing loan ratios, market volatility and political uncertainty continued to curb the financial performance of the companies in Southeast Europe (SEE) in 2014. Overdue structural reforms weigh on the economies in the region, which failed to benefit fully from cheaper oil and the recovery of the euro area to offset the downward pressure of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
2014 was a limited success year for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in Southeast Europe (SEE), but an analysis of deals already announced in 2015 indicates an improving outlook. In the past couple of years, the M&A activity in most SEE countries suffered to differing degrees from slower economic growth, the small size of the national consumer markets and political instability. Nevertheless, local specifics rather than common features tended to determine the main drivers of M&A in each country.
Most of the lenders in the SEE TOP 100 banks ranking closed 2014 in the black and the overall result of the sector would have been slightly positive if it hadn’t been for bankrupt Bulgarian lender Corporate Commercial Bank, Corpbank, which booked a staggering loss of 2.18 billion euro.