ArmInfo.After 2020-2021, the Armenian banking system has not yet managed to restore lending growth. Executive Director of the Union of Banks of Armenia (UBA) Seyran Sargsyan stated this during a press conference on August 26.
In this vein, he said that in the first half of the year, credit investments increased by 28 billion drams alone or 0.7%, reaching 3.996 trillion drams, slightly lower that the volume recorded in 2020.
At the same time, Sargsyan noted that not all sectors of the economy managed to register growth. In particular, he said that agricultural lending increased over the reporting period by 1.6% alone- to 215.5 billion drams (with a 6% share in the total loan portfolio), the construction sector - by 4.2% to 328.3 billion drams (or 9% in the loan portfolio), the financial sector - by 13.5% to 237.3 billion drams (or 7% in the loan portfolio). At the same time, lending to the service sector decreased by 8.9% to 260.6 billion drams (or 7% in the loan portfolio), industry - by 2.2% to 510.7 billion drams (or 14% in the loan portfolio), trade - by 2 % to 472.1 billion drams (or 13% in the loan portfolio), transport and communications - by 20.3% to 98.7 billion drams (or 3% in the loan portfolio).
Answering the question of an ArmInfo correspondent regarding the decline in corporate lending with the growth of the sectors mentioned as part of GDP, he conditioned this by the problems of the implemented projects, the circumstances prevailing in this or that sector of the economy. At the same time, he noted that at this stage, in the current situation, there is no deterioration in the quality of the loan portfolio of the banking system. "But what will happen next is hard to say," he said.
The head of the UBA said that consumer loans accounted for 23% or 828.1 billion drams, with an increase of 0.4%, while mortgage lending increased by 10.3% to 721.9 billion drams. Sargsyan stressed that, thus, the share of lending to the economy accounted for 44.4% (1.828 trillion drams), individuals - 44.2% (1.818 trillion), and the remaining 11.4% are interbank loans (466 billion drams).
He drew attention to the fact that the AMD component in the loan portfolio reached 60% by July 1, 2022 and, accordingly, the foreign exchange component decreased to 40%, while at the beginning of the year, foreign currency loans prevailed over AMD loans - 50.3% against 49.7%. The interest rates of AMD loans increased by 1.4 percentage points over the half year, and by 0.8 percentage points in y-o-y terms, amounting to 13.6%, while the rates on dollar loans increased by 0.2% over the half year, with a y-o-y increase of 0.1%, amounting to 8.6%.
Sargsyan noted that there should have been an increase in interest rates against the background of inflationary pressure and refinancing rate increase in Armenia, but no noticeable changes were observed. And answering the question of an ArmInfo correspondent, he explained: "This is due to the fact that the funds that were attracted at the previously existing rates make it possible to carry out lending at the current rates in the banking system."