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Bank-led restructuring in Poland: the conciliation process in action 1

Cheryl W. Gray and Arnold Holle

The Economics of Transition, 1996, vol. 4, issue 2, 349-370

Abstract: Poland's 1993 Enterprise and Bank Restructuring Programme (EBRP) tried to force state-owned commercial banks to build institutional capacity and resolve their problem loans. The outcome of its innovative bank-led workout ('conciliation') process, documented in this study of 62 firms, is decidedly mixed. The EBRP forced banks to confront their problems, helped them to build instituional capacity in their workout units, and furthered the difficult task of weeding out and closing clearly unviable firms. Yet it had limited power to promote needed restructuring or privatization in firms. The conciliation agreements were relatively unsophisticated and include few tangible requirements for operational or management change. The first two years of implementation saw a slowdown (over earlier years) in the rate of layoffs, a decline in average operating profitablility, and very little real privatization. The main impact of conciliation appears to have been to reduce debt service and thereby give firms 'breathing room'. Copyright 1996 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Date: 1996
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