Share of NPLs declining in some CEE states
The share of NPLs in some Central and Eastern European states is returning to single-figure numbers or even pre-crisis levels but remains above 10 pct in other markets, the latest Deloitte report shows. Indicators of asset quality in the banking sector of the CEE region are improving but the positive trends registered in the countries included in the report are still uneven, it said. The improvement of asset quality indicators was spurred by the banks' active credit portfolio management over the past several years, as well as by a recovery of credit activity as a result of continued positive trends in the macroeconomic environment.
Removal of foreign exchange clause as solution to credits in Swiss francs?
The problems of citizens who took out loans in Swiss francs could be solved by the Serbian dinar, Novosti writes, as reported by Tanjug. As the daily writes, the most likely solution to this over-a-decade-long problem for close to 20,000 people in Serbia is to remove the foreign exchange clause, which ties these loans to Swiss francs. This means that the next installments would be worth as much as when the loans were taken out, expressed in dinars. If this solution is adopted, banks would recalculate the loans, reducing the remaining debt, Novosti writes.
Eurodiesel, petrol prices in Serbia up, LPG price down
The average retail eurodiesel and petrol prices in Serbia have risen by about 3 dinars per litre over the past month, while the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) price is down by 0.6 dinars, according to figures released by the Association of Oil Companies of Serbia. Similar price changes have also been registered in markets across the region, the Association said in a statement. Serbian petrol prices remain at the regional average but the average eurodiesel price in Serbia is higher than in any neighbouring country. The rise of fuel prices in Serbia and the region is largely due to an increase of the global crude oil price.
Stocks rise as US-China trade talks restart, Europe stocks close slightly lower despite report of US-China trade breakthrough
Stocks rose on Thursday as trade talks between China and the U.S. restarted, but fears that the economy may be slowing down persisted. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 91.87 points to 25,717.46 as shares of Nike and J.P. Morgan Chase outperformed. The S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent to 2,815.44. The broad index is also headed for its best first-quarter performance since 1998, rising 12.3 percent. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.3 percent to close at 7,669.17.
In economic news, the U.S. economy grew by 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the government’s final read released Thursday.
European shares traded slightly lower on average Thursday as growth fears offset substantial gains on trade developments. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index hovered around the flat-line in afternoon trade, closing provisionally 0.11 percent lower.
Investors monitored news of progress in U.S.-Sino trade negotiations. A Reuters report said China has offered “unprecedented” proposals to allay U.S. concerns over forced technology transfers. Officials from both countries are due to meet for a fresh round of discussions Thursday.
Bayer stock fell after a U.S. jury said the pharmaceuticals giant should pay a claimant $80 million after allegations its glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused his cancer. Shares of the company dropped more than 1 percent but pared almost all losses by the close.