Massive demand for credits in foreign currency by natural persons and companies may have a negative effect on economies in countries due to join the European Union, a European Central Bank report shows. The countries facing risks in this regard include Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey, as the report warns such a credit boom usually leads to a series of bankruptcies.

Encouraged by small rates, foreign currency credits have boomed in these countries over the past several years and risk leading to a depreciation of their national currencies, which can also lead to mass bankruptcies, the report says.

And the document says the presence of major international banks on local markets lead to a sort of competition that pushes the market towards very advantageous credit offers.

According to statistical data delivered by the National Bank of Romania, non-governmental credit in Romanian lei rose by 110.4% in May 2006 compared to the same month of 2005. And the National Bank board decided in late June to increase the rate of currency policy interests from 8.5% to 8.75% to lower the credit demand and manage more control on inflation.