NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 14, 2012) - Foreign Bank stocks have struggled this year as the slowdown in Europe's economy has been worse than expected. The European Commission last week downgraded growth projections for most of the European Union, and has stated that instead of remaining flat they now expect gross domestic product to shrink by 0.3 percent on an annual basis this year. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on National Bank of Greece (NYSE: NBG) and Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE).
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The commission has forecasted the collective economies of the 17-member euro zone to shrink by 0.4 percent, which is the first annual decline since the sovereign debt crisis began.
"The aggravation of the sovereign-debt crisis in the first half of the year, with rising market concerns about the long-term viability of the euro area and negative feedbacks between banks' funding pressures and economic activity, and to a lesser extent the unexpected slowdown in non-EU GDP growth and global trade, are the main reasons for the disappointing growth performance in 2012," the commission said.
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National Bank of Greece is the oldest and largest among the Greek banks. It boasts a dynamic profile internationally, particularly in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece has inched closer to a bailout as the country's parliament recently approved austerity measures worth EUR 13.5 billion. The country is likely to receive an additional two years to reach their budget targets.
Bank of Ireland is a diversified Financial Services Group established in 1783 by Royal Charter. The Bank recently reported that Ireland's economic recovery was stronger than initially reported. The Bank of Ireland has recently announced its plans to re-enter the public debt markets.
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