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Regional Integration Challenges in South East Europe: Banking Sector Trends

  • George Stubos


    (Bank of Greece)

  • Ioannis Tsikripis

    (Bank of Greece)

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    This study reviews and evaluates a particular aspect of the institution building process in the transition countries of Southeast Europe. The focus is the development of the banking sector. It is argued that banking sector development plays an integral and pivotal role in the successful completion of the transition process. It functions as a very strong integrating force contributing to the broader institution building process and as a pillar of future growth and development in the new market environment of the Balkan economies. This study concentrates on three main issues. First, it undertakes a brief literature review of regional integration approaches in the Balkans. Second, it provides an overview of the most significant changes that have taken place in the banking sector. Third, it reviews some structural characteristics and performance indicators, all of which point to considerable advancements made in this sector in recent years. Empirical evidence is provided showing that a substantial harmonisation of ownership structures and performance indicators has been achieved in the banking sectors of these countries initiating a convergence process toward EU banking structures and functions. In this regard, this study complements the findings of other studies focusing on various sectors of economic activity, which clearly show that a de facto regional and, even more so, continental integration of the Southeast European countries is under way.

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    Paper provided by Bank of Greece in its series Working Papers with number 24.

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    Length: 36 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:24
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    1. Caprio, Gerard, Jr & Levine, Ross, 1994. "Reforming Finance in Transitional Socialist Economies," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
    2. Anders ├ůslund & Peter Boone & Simon Johnson, 1996. "How to Stabilize: Lessons from Post -communist Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 217-314.
    3. R.T.A. de Haas & I.P.P. van Lelyveld, 2003. "Foreign Bank Penetration and Private Sector Credit in Central and Eastern Europe," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 91, Netherlands Central Bank.
    4. Lukasz Konopielko, 1999. "Foreign Banks' Entry into Central and East European Markets: Motives and Activities," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 463-485.
    5. Tsoukalis, Loukas, 1997. "The New European Economy Revisited," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774778.
    6. Vladimir Gligorov & Mary Kaldor & Loukas Tsoukalis, 1999. "Balkan Reconstruction and European Integration," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 1, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    7. George Petrakos, 2002. "Restructuring, Stability, and Development in Southeastern Europe," Eastern European Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 40(4), pages 3-5, July.
    8. Mitko Dimitrov & Saul Estrin & Xavier Richet, 1997. "Cross Countries Study: State Enterprises Restructuring in Bulgaria, Romania and Albania," ERI-BAS Chapters, in: Mitko Dimitrov (ed.), State Enterprise Restructuring in Bulgaria, Romania and Albania, edition 1, chapter 1, pages 9-30 Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute.
    9. Vladimir Gligorov & Mario Holzner & Leon Podkaminer, 2011. "Monthly Report No. 8-9/2011," wiiw Monthly Reports 2011-08-09, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    10. Vladimir Gligorov & Mario Holzner, 2004. "Illegal Trade in South East Europe," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 61, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    11. Burfisher, Mary E. & Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen, 2004. "Regionalism," MTID discussion papers 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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