Microeconomic determinants of acquisitions of Eastern European banks by Western European banks
R. VANDER VENNET
A considerable number of Western European banks have acquired banks in Central and Eastern Europe from the mid-1990s onwards. The question is whether or not this will improve the efficiency and profitability of the Central and Eastern European banking sectors. We test the relative strength of the efficiency versus the market power hypotheses by investigating the bank-specific characteristics of the banks involved in the cross-border acquisitions. We also examine the determinants of the post-acquisition target banks’ performance. Our results indicate that large Western European banks have targeted relatively large and efficient CEEC banks with an established presence in their local retail banking markets. We find no evidence that cross-border bank acquisitions in the CEEC are driven by efficiency motivations. The evidence supports the market power hypothesis, raising concerns about the optimal balance between foreign ownership and competition.
Mergers and acquisitions, cross-border acquisitions, bank efficiency, transition economies, Central and Eastern Europe
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