The Slovak financial sector recorded a revival in the first half of 2012, with most segments achieving a more significant rise in assets compared to the second half of 2011, according to a report from the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), the country’s central bank, approved by the government on Wednesday, October 3.
The banking and insurance sectors recorded a year-on-year fall in profitability on equity in the first half of 2012, compared with significant growth in the first half of 2011. Conversely, profitability was up in the sectors of collective investment and pension saving. The debt crisis had a more moderate effect on the Slovak financial sector in the first six months of 2012, the TASR newswire wrote. The negative effects on the prices of government bonds was reduced, while the indirect effects of the debt crisis persisted, mainly in the form of the economic slowdown in the eurozone and ongoing uncertainties on foreign financial markets.
Slovakia's economic growth was strong enough in the first half of 2012 to enable bank clients be able to honour their obligations towards banks. On the other hand, growth was not sufficiently robust to provide significant impetus vis-a-vis lending to companies and households, which decelerated over the first six months of 2012. The first half of 2012 also brought some legislative changes concerning the financial sector, among them the introduction of the bank levy and amendment of the old-age pensions saving system. Also, the effects of the Act on Collective Investment – enabling new categories of special share funds to be created – adopted in 2011 were more visible in 2012.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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