Kosovo: A great place to do business – if you’re a bank
Kosovars feel oppressed by high interest rates and suspect a bank cartel. The banks respond by citing the country’s fragile status as a sovereign, making funding expensive and uncertain. Either way, costly credit is an impediment to growth, and widespread corruption adds its own obstacles. Elliot Wilson reports.
KOSOVO, A TINY disputed west Balkan state, seems to be run by everyone but the country’s own ruling authorities. The European Union is a powerful force behind the scenes, as is the US and, under its local banner, Kfor, the UN. Then there’s the so-called quint, a grouping of five embassies led by the US and the UK, which with quiet but controlled rigour determines how the government and the parliament are run. But there is a far shinier, glossier authority on display if one looks hard enough: a profitable and impressively well-run banking system.