ABA: lending rates in Azerbaijan can increase to two-digit level (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 22
By Sara Israfilbayova – Trend:
In 2019, the growth rate of bank lending in Azerbaijan can reach two-digit indicators, Zakir Nuriyev, chairman of the Azerbaijan Banks Association (ABA), told Trend.
"In particular, the expected growth in household income, in light of the fiscal policy stimulating demand, suggests that household lending will go faster," Nuriyev said.
The chairman noted that the recovery of credit investments is a positive phenomenon, both for the banking sector and for the real sector.
At the same time, however, the possible higher rates of credit growth compared with the growth rates of household income may lead to additional financial risks, so care must be taken when tackling these matters, the chairman noted.
Nuriyev further noted that the provision of macro-financial stability in the Azerbaijani economy in 2018 affected the stabilization of the exchange rate and the decrease in inflation.
He also stressed that what matters the most is that there were no banks closed down in Azerbaijan this year, and stability is also observed in the number of branches and departments of the banks.
“At the same time, employment rates in banks are growing. In 2018, the number of bank employees increased by 7.7 percent (1,244 people). This is one of the main indicators showing a revival of the sector,” he said.
Nuriyev added that there was a 5.7-percent increase in the volume of bank assets over the past year, with an 11.4-percent increase in the loan portfolio, a 10 -percent increase in the deposit base, and a 9.6-percent increase in household deposits.
"The process of the capitalization of banks also continued. The total capital of the sector rose by 9.8 percent and amounted to more than $4 billion. All of this is indicative of a revival in the sector after a very rough period of the last 3 years," he said.
According to Nuriyev, all these indicators give reason to positively assess the prospects for 2019 and expect continued growth in the sector.
“I think that the current year will be even more successful for the banking sector,” Nuriyev said.
He also noted that more activeness will be observed in lending to the economy in 2019.
In 2018, Azerbaijani credit organizations increased lending by 10.74 percent, when compared to the figures from 2017, up to 13,020.3 million manats.
Follow the author on Twitter: @IsrafilbekovaS