Skopje, 4th December 2012 (MIA) – Financial sector remains stable. Deposits constantly increase. Crediting will continue, and it is also possible to expect reduction of interest rates.
This was pointed out by the participants of today’s roundtable covering the topic "Current developments in the financial sector and their influence on the economy development”, organized within Finekspo 2012.
– Financial sector is stable. There are stable trends and accordingly we have no special concerns. Trends are slowed down, there is lower growth in the financial sector, however, this is also related to the slowed down economic activity and uncertainty in the region and the stagnation in the EU, Governor of NBRM Dimitar Bogov pointed out.
He pointed out that NBRM, in addition to realizing the main goals of the Central Bank, also supports the Macedonian economy, through foreign currency reserves, which were stable in the last three years, low current account deficit below 3% 3 years in a row, as well as through low reference interest rate of 3.75%, providing for higher demand of denars than foreign exchange.
Bogov stressed that under the last NBRM measure, envisaging reduction of reserve requirement for credits to net exporters and for energy projects, 1,800 companies will be able to be granted funds with lower costs, as well as to support 100 energy projects .
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski expects for the financial sector to remain stable and to deliver maximum amount of credits in the real sector in future as well.
– Without financing the real sector, banks would have even lower profitability which will affect their operations on the long run. Credit activity rate in Macedonia is satisfactory in such circumstances in Europe, Stavreski pointed out, adding that the country will continue with the support by maintaining low public debt, bringing fresh capital from abroad, such as the provision of EUR 250 million under Policy-Based Guarantee from the World Bank and credit line in the amount of EUR 100 million provided from the European Investment Bank.
He stressed that this can also leave room for reduction of interest rate on Treasury Bills. There is certain room for reduction of interest rate on Treasury Bills, and next year, analysis therefore could be made, Stavreski said.
Pointing out to the positive trends in the financial sector, referring to the constant growth of deposits, Minister Stavreski said that there are also negative developments such as the pressure from the parent banks put on the national banks to reduce the crediting to companies, which according to him, is unjustified. He announced that they will put mutual efforts to prevent this.
President of the Bankers Association and the General Manager of NLB Tutunska Banka Gjorgi Jancoski, said that the crisis in the real sector, being a result of the pressure from abroad, also reflected in the banking sector, through the increase of non-performing loans, which surged by 19%. Non-performing loans, as he added, account for 11% of total credit portfolio of the banking sector, a level, being tolerant, given that it is higher in the region, amounting to 20% in Serbia, 18.5% in Montenegro and 13.2% in Slovenia.
He stressed that banks will continue with their activities. Crediting has lower growth rate compared to the previous years, accounting for 4.8%. Since the beginning of the year, balance of credits increased by EUR 163 million, EUR 84 million as credits to households, while EUR 79 million as credits to companies.
Deposits, as he pointed out, surged by EUR 118 million, being mainly a result of the increase of saving deposits of the households, since deposits of companies declined by EUR 35 million.