Azerbaijani Unibank intends to get rid of problem loans (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 15

By Taleh Mursagulov - Trend:

The Unibank expects to reduce to zero the share of problem loans in the loan portfolio in 2H2019, the Chairman of the Board of Unibank Faig Huseynov told Trend Nov. 14.

"Unibank always adheres to an extremely conservative policy of creating reserves for loans. We openly acknowledged the existence of problem loans, rather than camouflaging them and did not tie them to any condition. Therefore, we continue to create a sufficient amount of reserves exactly as we did it in the past in order to continue this conservative policy," Huseynov said.

The chairman of the board noted that in 2018, the relative stabilization is observed in the banking sector of Azerbaijan.

"This year, most banks are experiencing relative growth in the loan portfolio. Active lending is observed in many banks, the institutional strengthening has also been noted in most banks. At the same time, the banks are actively engaged in their further capitalization," Huseynov said.

In addition, the chairman of the board noted that the banks had drawn the necessary conclusions from the economic changes that had occurred in the last two or three years.

“It is gratifying to note that the “whitewashing” of the economy, the elimination of those negative factors that are attributed to the elements of the shadow economy, have led to an increase in the transactional business in banks, an increase in balances in companies' accounts. In addition, the salaries were "whitewashed", which has led, accordingly, to an increase in operations on non-cash payments, as well as an increase in the card business. In general, I believe that 2018 was a positive year for the banking sector of Azerbaijan. But, again, the banking sector needs to strengthen its positions," said Huseynov.

In 3Q2018, Unibank's loan portfolio reached 400 million manats, which is 7 percent more or 28 million manat more than the indicator recorded in the beginning of the year. During the reporting period, the deposit portfolio of the bank amounted to 285 million manats, having increased by 11 percent compared to the data as of the beginning of the year.

According to the structure of the issued loans, in 3Q2018, 71 percent of all loans fell to the share of Baku, 12 percent – to the share of Ganja, Mingachevir, Sheki and Shamkir, six percent – to the share of Absheron, Sumgait, Astara, two percent – to the share of Imishli, Barda, Agjabedi and nine percent – to the share of other regions of Azerbaijan.

In addition, during the reporting period, 66 percent of all issued loans has fallen to the share of individuals. At the same time, 21 percent of loans were allocated to the sphere of trade and services, five percent – to agriculture and industry each, two percent – to the construction sector.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @TalehMursagulov

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