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Europe

EU integration greatly influences policy-making at the national level, and the EU itself is a major actor on the world economic stage. Most of the conditions governing the economic and business environment for European companies and consumers - especially in respect of the financial markets - are decided at the European level. For this reason, Deutsche Bank Research analyses and appraises the latest developments in the EU and EMU. European banks and financial markets are a major focus in this regard.

167 (121-130)
June 25, 2014
Region:
Current results are still very weak, with total revenues and profits both at the lowest level since 2009. But the largest European banks can justifiably draw hope from a stabilisation in interest income as well as fees and commissions, from declining loan loss provisions and shrinking expenses. The bottom line may have broadly bottomed out, though pressure from litigation charges and the ECB’s balance sheet assessment remains high. New record capital levels abound. [more]
121
June 5, 2014
Region:
Analyst:
The adoption of the proposal to extend the Savings Taxation Directive is another important stepping-stone towards comprehensive, universal automatic exchange of information at the EU level. The current schedule is very optimistic. But given the international developments over the past year it may be assumed that nothing will be able to stop the march of automatic exchange of information even beyond the EU's borders on a medium-term horizon. It remains to be seen to what extent it will actually be possible to coordinate the multitude of international initiatives with one another and ensure adequate data protection. [more]
122
May 9, 2014
Region:
In mainland Europe, the financial position of many institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs), which offer defined benefit pension plans, has markedly improved in recent years. Nonetheless, the market conditions facing pension funds remain tough. The main challenges here are the persistently low yields on high-quality bonds and the beneficiaries' rising life expectancy. New regulatory requirements, such as those contained in the recently published draft revision of the EU Directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision ('IORP II'), are also likely to pose a challenge for many IORPs. [more]
123
April 24, 2014
Region:
On May 1, 2004, eight CEE countries joined the European Union, followed by Bulgaria and Romania in January 2007. Strong trade, investment and monetary integration with the EU have been the cornerstone of the successful economic catch-up story of those economies which started much earlier than actual accession. Ten years and a textbook boom-bust cycle later, the CEE-10 have witnessed not only the benefits but also the drawbacks of such strong trade and financial integration. Still, we expect high and rising trade openness and strong integration in European manufacturing value chains will continue to support the CEE-10 industry-based growth model. [more]
124
April 15, 2014
Region:
In our empirical analysis we investigate the substitution between weak bank lending and lush bond markets and we show that rising bank CDS spreads are consistently associated with positive growth in securities underwriting and negative growth in loan syndication. This suggests that banks and clients switch funding instruments in times of financial stress. In this regard, a well-developed bond market is an important element to increase financial resilience as it offers an alternative source of funding for the real economy and an alternative source of revenue to banks. However, we also note a worrying trend towards financial fragmentation during times of stress which limits diversification potential. [more]
125
April 14, 2014
Region:
As a consequence of the eurozone crisis nearly all the EMU countries have seen aggregate company numbers fall over the past few years. The crisis has hit small and medium-sized enterprises on the eurozone's periphery particularly hard. The low demand triggered a sharp drop in the number of firms, mainly in Ireland and Spain but also in Portugal and Italy. As the crisis progressed, the funding conditions for enterprises in these countries gradually worsened and the differences in lending conditions between small and large companies increased. Apart from better funding access for SMEs also the elimination of structural obstacles to growth ought to be on the political agenda. [more]
126
April 1, 2014
Region:
The fundamental transformation of the European banking sector into a leaner, less profitable, low-growth but also more stable industry in the “new normal” continues to make progress. Banks are shedding assets, reducing costs and raising capital ratios, with revenues in 2013 having declined for the third consecutive year. Legacy assets and litigation remained an additional, significant burden. Nonetheless, profitability has improved somewhat from its extremely low levels and may well rise further this year. [more]
127
March 27, 2014
Region:
The European elections will be held in late May. The share of the vote gained by eurosceptics could increase. Using national election surveys as a basis we have modelled three potential scenarios of the outcome. Even under extreme assumptions the eurosceptics remain far short of attaining working majorities. However, in the run-up to national elections government positions on European policy could be influenced by how well the respective eurosceptics fare on polling day. Thus, the eurosceptics' indirect influence will probably be of relevance both before and after the European elections. [more]
128
February 24, 2014
Region:
With the New Year came a new Hollande pledging to build a New France. Still, most of the announcements made in January by the French President merely confirmed a prudent policy inflexion which started last year. Hollande is counting on the solemnity of the speech, putting economic reforms more firmly on the French political agenda. But the reforms are likely to be slow, and the transition will be costly in terms of growth. This will weaken France's reserves of political energy for European reform for many years. Actually, the structural hurdles to reform are more firmly entrenched in France than in Germany 10 years ago. Thus the adjustment is likely to be slower to yield any meaningful results on potential growth than in the German experience and a meaningful structural re-convergence of the two countries will be slow. [more]
129
February 3, 2014
Region:
The burden of the employment crisis is shared very unequally across generations and the euro area periphery faces an often termed “lost generation” which encounters unusually adverse labour market conditions. Youth unemployment, which refers to the population younger than 25 years, has received the bulk of attention, but also the early cohorts of the prime labour market population above 25 have experienced disproportionate employment losses. In addition, long-term unemployment is becoming increasingly prevalent across younger cohorts. The most affected countries have started to implement measures to facilitate job creation and the transition from education to work, which need to be complemented by effective activation policies not only aimed at the under-25s, but also at younger cohorts in the prime labour market age. [more]
130
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