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The Croatian Banking System

Опубликовано на портале: 17-12-2007
Financial Stability Report. 2005.  No. 9. P. 110-126. 
This paper provides an analysis of the stability of the Croatian banking sector. After the banking crisis of 1998, the Croatian banking system underwent a deep transformation process; foreign investors gained a dominating market share of more than 90% of total assets, with Austrian banks holding 43% thereof. Compared to other Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), the degree of banking intermediation is relatively high in Croatia. In recent years, lending to the private sector and in particular to households has risen whereas lending to the general government has declined. Foreign currencies continue to play an important role in the Croatian banking sector, in particular on the liabilities side of banks balance sheets. While maintaining a large negative net foreign currency position on their balance sheets (with an increasing portion of net liabilities to nonresidents), Croatian banks overall net foreign currency position seems to be marginally positive. Still, foreign currency(-indexed) lending represents a credit risk as it entails an indirect exchange rate risk. Asset quality, by contrast, has improved significantly over the past five years, the capital adequacy ratio is on a relatively high — albeit declining — level, and real return on equity (ROE) is now as high as the profitability levels observed in other CEECs

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