The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Capital Markets

NPL sales lose momentum in CEE as focus turns south

Investors keep powder dry for Greece and Cyprus; EBRD tempts global investors with co-investment.

Bojan-Markovic-780
Bojan Markovic, the EBRD’s deputy director for economics, policy and governance


Tackling bad debts remains a priority in central Europe and the Balkans, despite substantial reductions in stocks over the last four years, according to EBRD experts.

In the first half of the decade, five countries in the region – Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Albania – saw non-performing loans pass 20% of the total, while in Hungary and Croatia figures reached the high teens.

By the end of last year, the only markets where NPL ratios remained in double figures were Albania (14.3%), Croatia (12.5%), Serbia (11%) and Bulgaria (10.2%).

These reductions have been driven by legislative and regulatory changes in key countries such as Romania, which have encouraged banks to write off and dispose of legacy bad debts, as well as by increasing investor appetite for impaired assets from the region.

In 2014, with competition crimping margins in markets such as Spain and the UK, international buyers began looking further east. Romanian banks set the ball rolling, selling close to $2 billion worth of NPLs in the two years to the end of 2015.

More recently, sizeable portfolios have also been changing hands in smaller markets.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree