Financial Geography in Central and Eastern Europe

With high labor productivity, affordable infrastructures, and geographical proximity to large markets, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is an attractive choice for multinational firms seeking to open a new office or factory.

The next question is where to obtain capital. There are two locally available options: banks and stock exchanges. More than 900 companies are listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange while only 23 in Prague. Does that necessarily mean the banking sector in the Czech Republic is less developed than in Poland? Of course, not.

Course Objectives

This course aims to deepen our understanding of capital markets in CEE by focusing on the special distribution of various financial institutions, such as stock exchanges and investment banking offices. The Vienna Stock Exchange leads a regional consortium alongside with Prague and Budapest, while the Warsaw Stock Exchange seems to maintain its institutional independence. The CEO of Raiffeisen Bank recently commented that Budapest did not add shareholder value, while Goldman Sachs opened its regional investment banking office in Warsaw. As the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II is about to be implemented, we may observe some new developments of financial centers in CEE even during the semester.

Course Content

  1. Introductory discussion: where are is CEE today?
  2. Securities markets, privatization and investment banking in CEE
  3. Regulators and new financial actors – unexpected results and negative externalities surrounding the development of financial centers
  4. Currency crises and the investment landscape in CEE – volatility and sustainability from an institutional point of view
  5. Post-socialist institutional investors and different definitions of "liquidity"
  6. Securities exchanges as platforms for liquidity – and their regional consolidation in CEE
  7. Innovative financial products and the marketing strategies of exchanges with a particular attention to Warsaw
  8. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive(s)
  9. The role of London in CEE
  10. Economic Geography vs. Financial Geography – capitalization and securitization in CEE
  11. Asset Management Companies in CEE.