The economic environment continues to be characterised by a number of significant uncertainties. The economy in the euro zone and a few CEE countries is in a relatively weak phase. The earliest date for an expected upturn is the 2nd half of 2012. Overcoming the government debt crisis in the euro zone and the further development of the PIIGS nations are seen as the main challenges. An additional risk factor is a potential fall in interest rates combined with high inflation. The development of individual CEE states, such as Hungary, must also be viewed in a differentiated manner in 2012.
We are proceeding on the assumption that our 2012 results will improve compared with 2010, with 2011 having been significantly impacted by non-recurring factors. This assumes, however, that there will be no major setbacks on the capital markets, that the economic environment will continue to develop positively, and that losses caused by natural disasters will continue to remain within a normal range.