Despite bumps on NGEU road, investments that mostly rely on EU funds seen as key growth driver*

Designed as a temporary funding instrument of the European Union that can mobilise up to 723 billion euro (at 2022 prices) in grants and loans, the NGEU was established to encourage the completion of investments and structural reform measures. The ECB staff estimate that, the NGEU may increase the level of real GDP in the euro area by up to 1.5% by 2026 if fully implemented (The economic impact of Next Generation EU: a euro area perspective (europa.eu)). This makes quite a difference as it will lift growth prospects further.

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Investing in common good, providing support where it is most needed

Adapting to the newly created conditions that influenced the implementation of some of its plans and ideas, Halkbank AD Skopje managed to achieve the goals set at the beginning of 2021 and showed excellent business results from operations.
In 2021, Halkbank AD Skopje reported credit growth of 12% and 10% increase of the deposit base. The credit support that the Bank provides to businesses in the country is reflected in the 18% increase in loans to legal entities, i.e. loans to small businesses. When it comes to loan products for households, the Bank registered an increase in housing loans of 25% compared to 2020. On the basis of the stated results, Halkbank booked 10.6 million euro profit in 2021, an annual increase of 18%. Its assets amounted to 1.182 million euro at the end of the year, which is an increase of 9% compared to 2020.

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SEE biggest lenders bounce back from Covid 19

As social life returned to normalcy and economic activity picked up, banks in Southeast Europe saw their profits rise and their assets expand on the back of sustained growth in both lending and deposits. Like their global peers, the local lenders continued to play a major role in the redistribution of massive resources aimed to cushion the blow of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and clients. At the same time, pressure on interest margins and changing consumer habits strengthened the banks’ focus on efficiency and digitalisation. M&A deals picked up, with most of the action taking place in Serbia.

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Southeast Europe’s financial sector differentiates with Kyndryl services

“New entrants and new habits among consumers combined with changing economies and regulatory environments are transforming banking services as we know them,” says Csaba Izbeki, Managing Director at Kyndryl Eastern Europe Territory. “Digitalisation is the foundation of these shifts. We see that today every financial services company – no matter if it is an established bank, or a startup challenger – is looking for new IT integration services and solutions that help automate operations, predict outcomes, prevent cyber-attacks and better manage increasingly diverse workloads and platforms on premise or in the cloud”.

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SEE banks feel Covid-19 pinch, Banca Transilvania tops list for third year in row

The banks in Southeast Europe (SEE) showed resilience in the pandemic-defined 2020, as their total assets continued to grow. The measures introduced by the authorities to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 spread, however, took a heavy toll on their bottom lines and only a few of the region’s top lenders managed to grow their net profit. Cross-border M&A activity further reshaped the region’s banking landscape as a bunch of big deals were completed in 2020.

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SEE banking sector’s losses widen sharply on Slovenian woes

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.