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BR ANALYSIS. Large banks bubble mines in difficult waters

Over the past few years, the Romanian banking sector has experienced speedy consolidation with unprecedented mergers and acquisitions. Smaller banks and Greek subsidiaries have been the primary focus of the acquisition, as their companies in the local market have been underneath growing strain as demand for credit score continued to be weak and funding alternatives have been restricted.

The most important winner of the local lenders consolidation course of was Banca. Transylvania, which bypassed its primary rivals to turn into the most important player in the market after the acquisition of two smaller banks, Volksbank Romania and Bancpost.

Final yr, Banca Transilvania strengthened its supreme position with funds in the Romanian banking system. current central financial institution info.

The annual report of the Nationwide Financial institution of Romania (BNR) exhibits that Banca Transylvania's belongings on the end of 2018 have been RON 74.35 billion (EUR 15.9 billion) and its market share was 16.5%. [19659002] Romania's second largest financial institution, BCR, with registered belongings of RON 67.9 billion (EUR 14.6 billion) and a market share of 15.1%, whereas BRD ranked third in the collection of RON 54.1 billion (EUR 11.6 billion) and 12.0 %.

The nation's ten largest banks also embrace UniCredit (belongings RON 41.5 billion, market share 9.2%), Raiffeisen Financial institution (RON 40 billion, 8.9%), ING Bank (RON 38.4 billion, 8, 5%), CEC Financial institution (RON 29.three billion, 6.5%), Alpha Financial institution (RON 17 billion, 3.8%), OTP Financial institution (RON 11.1 billion, 2.5%) and Garanti (10%) , RON three). billion, 2.3 %).

Following the speedy enlargement of current years, Romania's Banca Transilvania is now the most important asset lender in Southeastern Europe, in accordance with SeeNews' 100 Greatest SEE Banks. In second place is a Croatian lender, followed by two other Romanian players – BCR and BRD.

Banca Transilvania was the most important winner in the process of uniting native leaders.


For local banks, 2018 was a memorable yr, as their combined earnings have been almost RON 7 billion, the very best in ten years. But the picture isn’t as competitive for all players as the large winnings are mainly targeted on the perfect banks.

The three largest contributors in Romania – Banca Transilvania, BCR and BRD – recorded income of over RON 1 billion. every year last yr, whereas some smaller gamers earned a lot decrease revenue and even losses.

The spectacular income invested by main banks last yr are largely because of the rise in curiosity revenue as interest rates on loans rose through the peak of inflation. In recent times, the federal government has adopted a wage-driven progress strategy to stimulate family consumption and GDP progress, however this mannequin has led to larger deficits in the overall government and current accounts – in addition to greater inflation rates. Inflation reached its highest degree in Romania over 5% last yr and remained near four% in 2019. The very best degree in the EU.

Greater inflation had an impression on Romania's three-month money market fee (ROBOR), an indicator used until just lately to set interest rates on RON borrowers, which rose last yr to a four-year high of almost three.5% in 2017. at the end of the yr was 2.05 % and in 2016 lower than 1 %.

The improved performance of Romanian banks can also be as a result of a sharp decline in the NPL ratio – from 6.41% in December 2017 to four.95% in December 2018 and 4.75% in April 2019, the bottom degree since 2009, based on central bank knowledge. 19659002] HIGH LIQUIDITY, LOW LOAN REQUIREMENT

But banks are nonetheless struggling to seek out borrowers, as the loan-to-deposit ratio stays low and solely marginally improved firstly of December, from 73.6%. 2018 t o 74.8 % in March 2019. despite elevated demand for private shopper loans and mortgages.

At the similar time, Romanian banks' complete belongings are only about 48% of GDP, the bottom in the European Union, whereas the EU's second poorest Member State stays weak in terms of credit. Poor credit demand from households and businesses poses two main problems: high bond danger and excess liquidity in the money market.

In an effort to curb excess liquidity, which places strain on banks' revenue, the Financial institution of Romania sterilizes the money market surplus, often by means of deposit auctions.

15. July, the Central Financial institution attracted banks' weekly deposits value a report RON 17.1 billion after conducting comparable operations in earlier weeks, however then lower volumes have been withdrawn. These operations may be seen as a symptom of many banks' limited means to take a position their money at an inexpensive margin. This example is worrying at a time when the financial system continues to be growing, earlier than the top of the present business cycle. Many specialists warn that the Romanian financial system is starting to feel the cold breeze coming from Western Europe.

"Our forecast indeed exhibits both slower financial progress and slower wage progress between 2020 and 2021, as a consequence of both slower progress in the euro area (particularly given the unanimous Erste Group Analysis expectations of 1% in 2020) and slower consumption dynamics, in the third quarter, ”predicts Horry Braun-Erdei, chief economist at BCR.

Last yr's BCR and BRD income have been over RON 1 billion.


The medium-term outlook for local banks has been weakened by poor fiscal insurance policies and the need for reform. might show painful to the financial system.

Banca Transilvania estimates that the entire amount of non-governmental loans in Romania will improve by 5.8% compared to the same period in 2019, three.9% in 2020 and three.3% in 2021.

"In other words, we anticipate annual dynamics of non-governmental loans the slowdown in the approaching quarters, the developments that might be affected by the top of the post-crisis international cycle and the challenges for the macroeconomic stability of the domestic market, ”stated Andrei Radulescu, chief economist at Banca Transylvania.

Many specialists consider that the key problem for native banks in the medium time period is to incorporate the digital revolution into a balanced partnership with fintechs, a key issue for efficiency, accessibility and security of monetary providers.

“Among the main risk factors for the short-term development of the Romanian banking sector is the high level of the double deficit. s at the end of the post-crisis economic cycle, ”Radulescu feedback.

However the digital revolution may also accelerate the development seen in the last decade to scale back staffing, as youthful generations want on-line banking. Between 2008 and 2017, the variety of bank staff in Romania decreased by round 10,000 to shut to 55,000, and the development seems to be accelerating. First Financial institution lately announced its intention to take a position $ 7.5 million in digitization and redesign to integrate new know-how. On the similar time, the financial institution aims to shut 40 branches and lay off numerous its staff.

“At this stage, the steps to be taken as a result of the digitization process will be negotiated with the trade union. We intend to close and / or merge 40 branches. We estimate that the impact will be 379 employees. We would like to emphasize that these figures are estimates up to the end of the legal negotiation period with the trade union, ”says the financial institution in its official response to Enterprise Evaluate.

First Bank presently operates via 100 branches and employs roughly 1,200 individuals. Nevertheless, most specialists do not anticipate severe financial adjustment in Romania – just like the Nice Melancholy or the financial disaster – claiming that Romanian belongings usually are not overestimated and funding alternatives are consistent, especially after the current very sluggish investment dynamics.

FISCAL nevertheless, Romania's fiscal stance, which is in critical hazard of falling in need of its short-term goals after reaching its medium-term goal as of 2016. The local macroeconomic analyst group and the European Fee, the Fiscal Council and the Nationwide Financial institution of Romania have repeatedly warned towards the excessive deficit pit, if the business cycle turns, the BCR chief economist points out.

“Recent events and current circumstances are such that the catastrophe caused by the excessive deficit procedure has become part of the baseline scenario for the next two years. There are a number of factors in this scenario, most of which we would have reduced as general risks, unless the tough electoral calendar ahead of us made it significantly less likely that tax adjustment measures would be implemented, ”stated Horia Braun-Erdei.

Specialists are notably involved concerning the just lately permitted public pension regulation, which anticipates a heavy decline in social spending over the subsequent two years.

“Although the pension law seems like a big tax in the room, it is not the only concern of the cards. The current implementation of the budget is already challenging, even before dealing with pensions, ”he added.

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