Foreign banks control two thirds of the South Eastern European banking system assets, with Austria holding 25 per cent of the assets, Greece and Italy 13 per cent each, writes a study by Union of Greek Banks (EET) quoted by Novinite.

Bulgaria and Albania are the most attractive banking markets in the region with 90 per cent of the assets being controlled by foreign investors, followed by Romania with 60 per cent, despite the fact that the banks have not been totally privatized.

According to Union of Greek Banks (EET) survey, Bulgaria attracts most investors due to numerous banks mergers and to the closure of the privatization process of the banking system.

The biggest five banks in Greece, controlling 16 per cent of the market share, have invested more than two billion euros in the region and established a network of approximately 950 units employing over 16,000 persons.