Slovenia's Jazbec Inherits Indebted Banks to Avert Bailout
Comment of the Day

April 03 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Slovenia's Jazbec Inherits Indebted Banks to Avert Bailout

This article by Boris Cerni and Agnes Lovasz for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section
The debt crisis has since stalled the economic momentum built up by many smaller euro countries such as Malta and Slovenia and forced them to distance themselves from the banking crisis that forced Cyprus to accept a 10 billion-euro bailout emergency-aid accord with the European Union and the IMF on March 25.

Slovenian banks such as Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. and Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d.d. have been hit by the recession and the collapse of the construction industry, the pre-crisis driver of growth. Bad loans account for about a fifth of economic output.

Nova Kreditna, which had a 205 million-euro loss last year, was one of four banks that failed last year to meet European capital targets set by regulators. Bank of Cyprus Pcl, Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl, known as Laiki Bank, and Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA were the others. Laiki was closed as part of the island nation's bailout.

Eoin Treacy's view While Slovenia does not possess the bloated financial system that overburdened Cyprus' economy, the consequences of the attack on deposits is being felt beyond Cyprus' borders. Logically, if the EU, IMF and ECB are willing to countenance punishing depositors in one country, what is to prevent them from following a similar strategy should another country seek aid? This sentiment has perhaps been felt most acutely in Eastern Europe where a number of governments are struggling with refinancing costs.

Slovenia's SBITOP Index extended its recent decline today. While the Index is currently trading in the region of the 200-day MA, a clear upward dynamic will be required to check the slide. Hungary has fallen back to test its yearlong progression of higher major reaction lows.

Russia's RTS Index extended its two-month decline today and will need to sustain a move above 2150 to break the progression of lower rally highs and confirm a return of demand to dominance in this area.

Ukraine's PTFS Index has fallen for 17 of the last 18 sessions and while oversold in the short-term a clear upward dynamic will be required to check the slide.

Poland's WIG Index has paused in the region of the 200-day MA over the last 10 days but will need to continue to hold above 42,000 if the medium-term upside is to continue to be given the benefit of the doubt.

These indices represent a number of the region's laggards and contrast sharply with some of the Baltic States that grasped the nettle of fiscal consolidation early. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are among the region's best performers but are becoming increasingly susceptible to mean reversion. Turkey also continues to trade in the region of its peak.

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