CE benefits from ECB’s loose monetary policy


  • Growth in Germany supports upturn in CE region
  • Albania: Economy towards quicker growth rates

“The sub regions of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)[1] continue to show a quite divergent development for 2015. While CE is likely to grow by 3 percent on average, the SEE region lacks behind with 1.9 percent GDP growth forecast. This is mainly due to the stagnation in Croatia and Serbia that overshadows the outstanding 3.0 percent growth in Romania. The three countries of the EE region, namely Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, are facing recession,” says Peter Brezinschek, Chief Analyst of Raiffeisen RESEARCH at Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) in the recently published “Central and Eastern European Strategy” for the second quarter of 2015.

In addition to the very strong domestic growth (private consumption and investment), the close economic ties with Germany are also a reason for the stable performance of the CE region. The high competitiveness of the CE countries also facilitates robust current account balances, meaning that the countries are not dependent on foreign capital. Indeed, capital flows have actually been bolstering the currencies of these countries since the beginning of the year. In the past quarters, the lack of inflation and ECB’s expansive monetary policy has opened up leeway for some central banks in CE to cut interest rates. For example, Poland has reached a new low in rates at 1.5 percent; the key rate in Romania is expected to slip to 2 percent and closer to 1.5 percent in Hungary. With that, the rate-cutting cycle should come to an end, and consequently the currencies in these countries may briefly concede some of their first quarter gains versus the Euro.

Albania: Economy towards quicker growth rates

In 2015 the GDP growth of Albanian economy, is expected to speed up at around 3% based on a moderate revival of the domestic demand, increased FDI and eased monetary policy. Energy sector that has been a key driver sector in the last years is expected to decelerate as Oil Extraction and Production to be negatively impacted from the decreased oil prices in the international markets.

The inflation level is expected to be near the bottom level of the 2 - 4% target range as the moderate domestic demand revival should be partially neutralized by the decreased import prices. Therefore it is expected that Bank of Albania is to maintain an expansionary monetary policy for 2015 as well. The base interest rate is actually at an historical low of 2.0%.


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Raiffeisen Bank, part of Raiffeisen Bank International AG is one of the largest bank in the country with the widest network of branches, ATM and POS .

Raiffeisen Bank International purchased the Albanian Savings Bank in 2004 and over the last 10 years has completely transformed the old State Bank into a full service bank serving all sectors of the business and private individual markets. With lending to corporate customers and small and medium-sized enterprises, the intensive training of staff and the offering of new banking products, Raiffeisen Bank has underpinned its leading market position. Raiffeisen Bank has reinforced its position in the market, bringing banking services in Albania at a level that compares to the  21st century European standards. Raiffeisen Bank now serves over 700,000 customers in Albania.   

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Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) regards Austria, where it is a leading corporate and investment bank, as well as Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as its home market. 15 markets of the region are covered by subsidiary banks. Additionally, the Group comprises numerous other financial service providers, for instance in the fields of leasing, asset management, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

In total, around 54,700 employees service 14.8 million customers through approximately 2,900 business outlets, the great majority of which are located in CEE.

RBI is a fully-consolidated subsidiary of Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB). RZB indirectly owns around 60.7 per cent of the shares, the remainder is in free float. RBI's shares are listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. RZB is the central institution of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banking Group, the country's largest banking group, and serves as the head office of the entire RZB Group, including RBI.

For further information please contact:

Ingrid Krenn-Ditz (+43-1-71 707-6055, ingrid.krenn-ditz@rbinternational.com) or
Anja Knass (+43-1-71 707-5905, anja.knass@rbinternational.com).

http://www.rbinternational.com, http://www.rzb.at

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Raiffeisen Centrobank is a leading Austrian investment bank offering the full spectrum of services and products associated with stocks, derivatives and equity capital market transactions, both via the stock exchange and off market. Raiffeisen Centrobank is a 100% subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

For further information, please contact Andrea Pelinka-Kinz (+43-1-51 520-614, andrea.pelinka-kinz@rcb.at).


1.Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is composed of the regions of Central Europe (CE) with the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary, Southeastern Europe (SEE) with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Serbia as well as Eastern Europe (EE) with Belarus, Russia and Ukraine