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CEE in the autumn of 2015 is the new safe haven


UniCredit’s CEE Quarterly 4Q 2015 found that market volatility spiked in 3Q15, with the uncertainty surrounding the anticipated Fed rate hike augmented by growing worries about a “hard landing” in China.  Against this backdrop, EM assets suffered with currencies depreciating, bond and equity prices soaring and growth prospects weakening. In CEE, the difficult external environment amplified the growing divergence within the region. While the region’s two largest economies – Russia and Turkey – suffered, the rest weathered the latest market disturbance largely unscathed.

Growth in the EU-CEE continued at a brisk pace in 2Q15 and short-term indicators suggest that the momentum will be sustained in 3Q15. We expect real GDP to rise 2-3.5% for the year as a whole, slightly above potential. If growth was initially led by exports spurred by the recovery in the EU, now it has shifted towards domestic demand.

In Ukraine, which has been hit by an unprecedented financial and geopolitical crisis, the economy at least seems to have bottomed out in 2Q15. Real GDP, industrial output and retail sales all stabilized during the summer or have shown tentative growth, albeit from a very low level.

Developments to date point to an increasingly divergent outlook for the CEE sub-regions. Our near-term projections are based on assumptions about a further slight acceleration in EA and U.S. growth, commodity prices stabilizing in 2016 with moderate upward potential, a “soft landing” in China and a gradual path of Fed rate hikes. The ECB is expected to continue with its QE program as initially planned.

Next year, growth in the EU-CEE should remain robust, again above potential. A slight slowdown can be expected in countries that have relied the most on EU funds for investment, with their absorption set to dip during the transition between the two EU budgets everywhere except for Poland. However, most of the slowdown in EU-funded investment should be offset by firming consumption, as tighter labour markets result in higher wage growth.



Ukrsotsbank is one of the largest universal banks of Ukraine, operating in the local market since 1990. The bank offers full range of services to individuals and corporate clients.

The renovated Ukrsotsbank emerged on 31 October 2016 as a result of strategic deal whereby 99.9% of Ukrsotsbank shares have been transferred from UniCredit Group to ABH Holdings S.A. (АВНН) in exchange for a minority 9.9% stake in ABHH. Thus, the bank has combined 26-year-old traditions of Ukrsotsbank’s client-centric attitude, European quality of service inherent to UniCredit, as well as international banking expertise of ABHH in a number of European countries including CIS. Thanks to the successful synthesis and synergy of the two assets of ABHH in Ukraine, Ukrsotsbank and Alfa-Bank, the banking market of Ukraine will see the rise of a new stronger financial institution. This, in turn, will spur up technological advance, increase efficiency, improve quality of service for the clients, reduce cost of banking services whereas their range will inevitably expand.

The extensive retail network of Ukrsotsbank consists of 237 branches, its headcount reaching nearly 5 thousand employees.

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