Moldova - Services

The banking system includes the independent National Bank of Moldova (NBM) and 21 commercial banks. Although small, the banking system has functioned well over the 1990s. Banking laws and accounting standards correspond to international standards, and there are no restrictions on foreign banks. There were 21 commercial banks in 2000; 3 others closed down in 1998. The largest banks, accounting for two-thirds of all assets and deposits, are Agroindbank, Petrol Bank, Banca De Economii, Moldindconbank, Banca Sociala, and Victoriabank. Victoriabank, a private commercial bank, has been most active in supporting small industry and retail. A network of savings and credit associations is being developed in villages, and insurance is becoming important, with 40 companies providing services.

Chişina˘u shows signs of developing a retail sector with several private Western-style shops and restaurants. Outside town, options are limited. The Green Hills is the largest of the supermarkets, while the Ninevia and the Fidesco supermarkets carry many imported supplies. High prices on imported goods make them unavailable for the majority of the population. Tourism is underdeveloped with a few Soviet-era hotels in Chişina˘u and no efforts to attract foreign visitors.

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