The patchy performance of the economies of the countries in Southeast Europe (SEE) proved a drag on the region’s insurance industry in 2013, leading to a drop of 2.0% to 6.2 billion euro in the combined gross written premiums (GWP) of the entrants in the 2013 edition of the SEE TOP 100 insurers ranking compared to the companies that made the 2012 cut.
Most of the lenders in the SEE TOP 100 banks ranking closed 2013 in the black but the overall loss of the sector widened to 2.18 billion euro, due to the heavy losses booked by Slovenian banks. With the exception of Slovenia, the banking system in Southeast Europe (SEE), however, managed to stay stable, although continuing to struggle with high non-performing loan (NPL) ratios, weak lending growth and subdued economic growth. The ranking was dominated by Romanian lenders, which accounted for nearly a quarter of the total assets of the banks in the region.
Energy companies booked the majority of Southeast Europe’s heftiest corporate losses in 2012 as 13 oil, gas and electricity firms made the TOP 20 money losers ranking of predominantly heavy-industry entries.
Companies that turned 2011 bottom lines into SEE’s biggest losses took the top four spots in the 2012 standings.
The transport infrastructure of SEE consists of national transport systems and a number of integrated international networks that upon their completion should ensure quick and unhampered movement of people and goods across Europe. This makes the integrated European transport system a key prerequisite for the seamless operation of the internal market and for the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the European countries.
SEE hosts 61 business schools across ten countries, according to compiled data in a survey carried out by SeeNews Research & Profiles on MBA training in English in the region. These universities offer some 90 MBA programmes, either full-time or part-time. While not widespread, distance learning, which provides more flexibility, is also available.
Sector players operating in SEE are trying to survive amid policy uncertainty and retrospective changes in legislation, falling subsidies and reluctant financing. Yet, a quick browse through news headlines from the first half of 2013 shows that interest in renewable energy is picking up in SEE.
The nature of the modern knowledge economy has changed the way we perceive physical spaces. Contemporary cities are increasingly viewed not only as geographic and economic entities, but also as brands, shaped and popularized by the experience they offer to both locals and visitors.
The global economic slowdown of 2012 was far sharper than expected and its impact on the economies of Southeast Europe turned the spotlight on the region’s structural weaknesses whilst also exacerbating the effects of the eurozone debt crisis. For these economies, 2013 is a year of readjustment and renewing commitments to creating robust and sustainable economic growth, an approach which is forecast to result in more promising rates of real output in 2014.
Romania’s Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) emerged again as the best-performing lender in terms of assets in the TOP 100 banks ranking for 2012, retaining its number one position for a third consecutive year. Overall, 2012 saw no reshuffle in the top-five and all of them were successful in keeping the positions they had secured the previous year.