Treichl: Worst is over for Eastern Europe

Erste Group Bank AG, Chief Executive Officer Andreas Treichl said the worst effects of Europe’s debt crisis are over for eastern Europe, where his bank is the third- biggest western lender, according to Bloomberg quoting Mediafax. “I really don’t expect it to get worse, but it is bad enough for the moment,” Treichl said in an interview in Alpbach, Austria. “Mainly because the loan growth is relatively weak for the moment — which is understandable in the sense that the general mood that has affected Europe also has affected central and eastern Europe. “We see positive signs — we see that in those countries, where the country, the people and the banks have a good liquidity situation,” Treichl said .“My personal view is that with very few exceptions the worst is over.” Also, credit in the region is stagnating, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Develop­ment. Eastern Europe has “hope for growth,” Treichl said. “We have the fantastic situation of having completely underpenetrated banking markets, people who have substantially lower incomes than in western Europe, but are substantially more productive.”
Speaking about OAO Sberbank (SBER)’s recent move of entering the region by buying Oesterreichische Volksbanken AG (VBPS)’s east Europe unit he believes that is a “good sign.”

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