RAPORT ANALIST May 31, 2016

Romanian Banks. Banking on the macro story

We remain positive on the outlook for the banking sector in Romania and believe that it still offers one of the best growth/risk profiles in the region. While we acknowledge the negative impact that pre-election political decisions might have on the banking system, we believe these are exaggerated, and that they are already incorporated in the stock prices. In our view, the fundamentals for the potential growth of the system are still in place: strong macroeconomic conditions that should eventually lead to loan growth, and a recovery in net interest margins (NIM) as interest rates have stabilised and the banks are improving their asset allocation profiles. Cost of risk (COR) should also remain on a downward path, although we believe the pace of decline is likely to slow, especially given the potential additional provisions related to the mortgage walkaway law.