Corporate banking loans grew by 5.2% in August 2017, after a long time, which is encouraging for the local economy, Veroljub Dugalic, Secretary General of the Association of Serbian Banks (ASB), stated on Friday, September 8, 2017.
– If there are no corporate loans, that means that there are no significant investments, if there are no investments, there is no employment, no production, which means that there is no growth of either the domestic product or the standards. That is why this growth of loans to legal persons is very significant – Dugalic said at a media conference at the ASB.
At the same time, Dugalic says, August saw a decrease in retail and corporate NPLs, which amounted to 22-23% two years ago, with the corporate ones being at 26%.
– The measures taken in the past two years by the National Bank of Serbia and the Ministry of Finance related to resolving the issue of NPLs are now producing results, so NPLs are now at 14%, with the corporate ones being at 17%, and the retail ones at 7.7%, Dugalic specified.
Results as good as these, according to him, have been achieved through the sale of NPLs to specialized funds and partly by write-offs.
When it comes to retail loans, Dugalic points out that a growth of cash credits by 2.1% to RSD 306 billion was realized in August, whereas housing loans amount to RSD 381 billion. Also, refinancing loans also increased in the said month by 3.4% to RSD 113 billion.
Late repayments, he adds, were reduced in all client categories, namely, from 13.4% in July to 12.3% in August in legal persons and from 5.9% to 5.8% in natural persons.
Commenting on the NBS' decision to lower the key policy rate to 3.75%, Dugalic pointed out that it was logical for dinar loans to become cheaper now.
– The key policy rate is remarkably low compared to the situation of a few years ago, when it was 18%. By lowering the key policy rate, the NBS is looking to stimulate the growth of dinar loans and support the process of dinarization to the end of reducing the risk of citizens' exposure to loans with variable interest rates – he said.