Restructuring Large Industrial Firms in Central and Eastern Europe: An Empirical Analysis

Overview

This analysis used firm-level data to measure how the largest industrial firms in five Central and Eastern European nations restructured during 1992-94 and to make projections through 2000. The authors show that large firms in the Czech Republic have restructured the most and project that few will become insolvent in the future. The next best performance is by large firms in Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. Performance is much worse in Bulgaria. An important consequence of these findings is that banks in the ...
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Overview

This analysis used firm-level data to measure how the largest industrial firms in five Central and Eastern European nations restructured during 1992-94 and to make projections through 2000. The authors show that large firms in the Czech Republic have restructured the most and project that few will become insolvent in the future. The next best performance is by large firms in Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. Performance is much worse in Bulgaria. An important consequence of these findings is that banks in the best-performing countries will have fewer loan losses, thus reducing the need for governments to recapitalize the banks. The extent of firm restructuring was measured in four ways: export performance; improvement in the efficiency of using labor and materials (variable factor productivity); changes in profitability or loss (using transition matrices); and the level of, and changes in, the rate of return on capital for large firms. Using the Markov chain process the authors simulated future financial performance. The countries that have made the most progress in economic reform are reaping the greatest benefits in the form of rapid firm restructuring, greater exports, high rates of return on capital, and improved financial health of the banking system.
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