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Croatia: Coping with Rapid Financial Deepening

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  • Sándor Gardó

    () (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Foreign Research Division)

Abstract

The Croatian banking sector underwent sweeping structural changes in the late 1990s and has remained relatively stable and profitable since then. Driven by brisk credit growth, financial deepening has continued rapidly in recent years, with the level of bank intermediation now being among the highest in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. With regard to financial stability, relatively high credit and foreign exchange risks would appear to constitute the main challenges. However, the most recent slowdown in domestic credit growth and the sector’s relatively high shock-absorbing capacities, as indicated by quite high profitability and capitalization levels and the strategically oriented presence of foreign banks, help mitigate risk concerns. Yet, the increasing debt burden of both households and corporates requires careful monitoring.

Suggested Citation

  • Sándor Gardó, 2008. "Croatia: Coping with Rapid Financial Deepening," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 61-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfi:y:2008:i:1:b:2
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