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The Croatian Banking System

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Reininger & Zoltan Walko, 2005. "The Croatian Banking System," Financial Stability Report, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 9, pages 110-126.
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbfs:y:2005:i:9:b:4
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    File URL: https://www.oenb.at/dam/jcr:e70b6f1b-7a65-4170-be7c-013e658f78fa/fsr_09_special_04_tcm16-29258.pdf
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    Keywords

    Banks;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • P34 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance

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