Slovakia - Banking and securities

Four years after the Soviet system relinquished control over the eastern bloc, Slovakia formed a National Bank. In January 1992 the banking system of Czechoslovakia was split. From that point on the National Bank of Slovakia was charged with the responsibility of circulating currency and regulating the banking sector. At the end of 2002, there were 23 commercial banks operating in the Slovak Republic, including the Investment and Development Bank (1992); People's Bank (1992); Postal Bank Inc. (1991); Industrial Bank, Inc. (1992); First Commercial Bank Inc. (1993); Slovak Credit Bank (1993); Slovak Agricultural Bank (1991); and the General Credit Bank (1990). Twelve of the 23 commercial banks were partly or wholly foreign-owned. In addition, two branches and 10 representative offices of foreign banks had been established. In 2000, plans called for the privatization of the three largest banks, Vseobecna Uverova Banka (VUB), Slovenska Sporitelna, and Investicna a Rozvoyova Banka (IRB) by the end of the year. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand deposits—an aggregate commonly known as M1—were equal to $4.7 billion. In that same year, M2—an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual funds—was $13.9 billion. The money market rate, the rate at which financial institutions lend to one another in the short term, was 7.76%.

The Bratislava Stock Exchange (BSE) opened on 8 July 1990 and acts as a share holding company formed by all Slovakian financial institutions, banks and savings banks, and companies authorized to trade securities. Brokers and other mediators are not permitted in the trading system. The volume of stocks traded on the BSE, however, has remained low until 1996. In 2001, there were 844 companies listed on the BSE, with a trading value of $966 million (up 141% from 2000) and total market capitalization of $665 million (down 10.3% from 2000). The Bratislava Option and Futures Exchange opened in 1994.

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