Austrian banks will have to curb new loans in Central and Eastern Europe, where they are among the biggest lenders, under rules imposed by Austrian authorities seeking to protect the country’s AAA credit rating, Mediafax informs, quoting Bloomberg. Hereby, Raiffeisen Bank, Erste Group Bank, and UniCredit Bank Austria will be prevented from loaning significantly more than they raise in local deposits in countries such as Romania, Hungary and Ukraine.
Raiffeisen Bank Romania will not be “significantly impacted” by the decision of Austrian regulators as it has sufficient capital and internal funding sources, the unit’s head, Steven van Groningen said. In these conditions, Raiffeisen may issue bonds next year through a medium-term notes program of about EUR 1.5 billion as it plans to wait for the right moment to get a “reasonable price,” Chief Executive Officer, van Groningen said in an interview in Bucharest. “I think it’s a healthy measure in principle in order to limit the systemic risk. In Romania, it’s possible we will see even more pressure on attracting deposits than in the past and the interest rates might go up.” Austrian banks, which control about 39 percent of the Romanian market, have lent about USD 266 billion to borrowers in CEE.