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Currencies retreat, Polish banks post strong results BUDAPEST/WARSAW: The Polish zloty and the Hungarian forint retreated on Tuesday on concerns that the US Federal Reserve might signal rate hikes after a two-day meeting due to start later in the day.A rise in US rates would make Central European assets relatively less attractive.The zloty gave up part of Monday's gains against the euro and traded at 4.0 at 1312 GMT, weaker by 0.3 percent, while the forint shed 0.5 percent to 301.5.The forint has been dancing around 300 and the zloty around 4.0 for weeks, clinging to strong gains since the end of 2014: five percent for the forint and seven percent for the zloty.Poland has signalled that its rate cut cycle is over and the zloty is widely expected to extend its gains. A weak zloty could hurt the 550,000 Poles holding mortgages denominated in the Swiss franc.Hungary, Serbia and Romania could continue to ease monetary policy. ...

Sterling recovers from UK growth disappointment, hits 7-wk high vs dollar LONDON: Sterling hit seven-week highs against the US dollar on Tuesday, recovering from earlier losses after data showed the UK economy grew slower than expected in the first quarter. Quarterly gross domestic product growth slowed to 0.3 percent - half that of the last three months of last year and below forecasts of 0.5 percent. On an annual basis, the British economy was growing at a healthy 2.4 percent pace. Sterling rose 0.6 percent to ...
Zloty, forint rally on glimmer of hope on Greece deal BUDAPEST: Poland's zloty and the Hungarian forint rallied against the euro late on Monday as risk appetite rose on tentative hopes that Greece could clinch a deal with its creditors.Markets were buoyed after Greece announced a reshuffle of its team handling negotiations, seen as a last-ditch effort to unlock aid from international lenders.At 1440 GMT the zloty and the forint were about 1 percent stronger after breaking through respective key levels at 4 and 300 ...
Turkish lira hits record low on political jitters ISTANBUL: The Turkish lira slid to its second straight record low on Friday, as investors pummelled the currency over concerns about political stability and central bank independence ahead of June parliamentary elections. The lira has been hammered this year - underperforming nearly every other major emerging market currency - with analysts expecting little respite until at least after the June 7 polls. Faced with flagging economic growth, President Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for lower ...
Goldman expects sterling to stay resilient to UK election risks LONDON: Sterling has remained surprisingly resilient to the risks from uncertainty from a closely fought British general election, Goldman Sachs said in a note, adding that the pound will ultimately be driven by the solid growth of the economy."While sterling may have room to price further election risk, we look to past election cycles to demonstrate that political uncertainty, of itself, has not been decisive for the currency, whereas the macro backdrop is key," Goldman ...
Sterling slips after UK retail sales disappoint LONDON: Sterling backed away from a five-week high against the dollar on Thursday after data showed British retail sales fell in March, confounding expectations of a rise and wrong-footing some traders who had expected a robust number.Data showed retail sales fell 0.5 percent in March compared with February and were up 4.2 percent compared with March last year. Economists in the Reuters poll had forecast increases of 0.4 and 5.4 percent respectively.Sterling fell to a ...
Sterling climbs past $1.50 to 5-week high after upbeat BoE minutes LONDON: Sterling rose past $1.50 to hit a five-week high against the dollar on Wednesday, after minutes from the latest Bank of England policy meeting showed policymakers were slightly more focused on the risk of inflation accelerating.Traders said sterling was also helped by a growing view within the nine-member monetary policy committee that the next move by the BoE will be a rate hike. The minutes of the April 8-9 meeting showed that the officials ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln