Thursday 30 October 2014

Banking: European banks are tied up in Russia

Published 24/07/2014 | 02:30

European banks have at least €60bn of loans in Russia and Ukraine
European banks have at least €60bn of loans in Russia and Ukraine

European banks have at least €60bn of loans in Russia and Ukraine amid concerns about the possible repercussions of the escalating political crisis in the region, UBS said.

There is "a lot of money at stake" and the estimate, which tracks European banks covered by UBS, doesn't include funds extended by investment banks, analyst Matteo Ramenghi said.

OTP Bank Nyrt, Hungary's largest lender, and Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International have the biggest exposure to both countries, UBS said.

"We are far more concerned about the exposure to Ukraine, and the potential losses there than to Russia," Mr Ramenghi said. "The escalation of the crisis in Ukraine has led to sharp asset prices and currency volatility with capital outflows from the region, particularly from Russia and of course Ukraine itself."

The European Union will consider restricting Russia's access to capital markets and to sensitive technologies unless President Vladimir Putin expedites the investigation of the downing of the Malaysian Air flight over eastern Ukraine, officials said on Tuesday. EU governments will move toward stiffer sanctions if Putin refuses to abide by a UN resolution calling for an international probe.

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