Nisu kreditni rizici svih zemalja Istočne Europe jednako loši

autora/ice cronomy

U tipičnom primjeru mentaliteta “elektronskog krda” posljednjih tjedana svi su skočili na vagon da je čitava Istočna Europa (sve banke) u podjednakim kreditnim problemima. No kreditna rejting agencija Moody’s, koja je i pokrenula taj vagon, upozorava da to nije tako i traži više razlikovanja među kreditnim rizicima. Rizici su veći u zemljama koje su posljednjih godina imale ubrzani rast domaćeg kreditiranja, te u onima koje bi mogle izgubiti izvore stranog zaduživanja. Nažalost, Hrvatska je upravo među njima. (I da ispravimo autora: Hrvatska se ne nada postati članicom EU u dogledno vrijeme, a sigurno ne ovo ljeto)

Utjeha? Moody’s je zabrljao puno rejtinga u zadnje vrijeme. Da su barem u krivu i sada.

Iz WSJ:

Moody’s ratings agency, which triggered a storm of selloffs and criticism last month with a warning on banks exposed to Eastern Europe, called Tuesday for more differentiation of credit risks in the region.

The call came as several European Union finance ministers meeting in Brussels said the EU should do more to help Eastern Europe, where the downturn has hit particularly hard, though the EU has continued to resist creating any new fund for the region.

A new report by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said risks were highest in economies that have experienced rapid domestic credit growth and those that may not be able to rely on external support. The report targeted Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia, all rated Baa3, as particularly vulnerable to credit-rating downgrades.

“There is no justification for treating all Central and Eastern European governments as if their creditworthiness was uniform,” said Pierre Cailleteau, managing director of Moody’s sovereign risk group.

Romania will become the latest country from the region to seek a financial rescue package from the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Romanian and IMF officials said Monday. It follows fellow EU members Hungary and Latvia, as well as non-EU countries Ukraine and Serbia.

Croatia’s central-bank Governor Zeljko Rohatinski said his country’s government would need to slash spending and cut fiscal deficits to zero to avoid an IMF bailout. Mr. Rohatinski said the former Yugoslav nation’s gross domestic product is likely to contract between 2% and 3% in 2009. Croatia hopes to join the EU this summer.

Investors have punished financial assets around emerging Europe, citing persistent current-account deficits and the need to refinance large amounts of short-term loans, as wealthier economies are retrenching.

Last week, six central banks in the region issued an unusual joint statement protesting the way analysts had painted regional markets — from relatively stable Poland to struggling Ukraine — as the same.

The Moody’s report said the fate of sovereign ratings in the region will now depend on how the euro-zone banks that control may regional lenders respond to calls to maintain funding flows, and whether the EU will offer help.

EU leaders, including several from Eastern Europe, recently rejected a proposal from Hungary to set up a special fund for the region. The EU has provided €9.6 billion ($12 billion) to Hungary and Latvia as part of IMF-led bailouts, drawing from a €25 billion EU fund for economies in trouble. Finance ministers from Sweden and Britain said Tuesday that the EU should do more, but the bloc continues to say that it will treat countries on a case-by-case basis.

—Natasha Brereton and Adam Cohen contributed to this article.

Write to Christopher Emsden at chris.emsden@dowjones.com

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A11 – MARCH 11, 2009

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