6 Apr 2010 12:05

Lending could grow 5%-10% at best in 2010

MOSCOW. April 6 (Interfax) - Lending in Russia could grow 5%-10% this year, but that's an optimistic forecast, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, who is also the country's finance minister, said at the Higher School of Economics.

"I think it'll grow 5%-10% this year, but that's an optimistic forecast," he said.

Lending in Russia will grow with demand for loans. "Credit will go side by side with demand, when it is required, and of course credits will start to grow in the Russian economy," he said.

"Lending in the Russian economy did not grow last year but it did not fall either, although it did fall in the leading economies. It tightened in the United States, in Europe," Kudrin said. This was due to the crisis, to reduced demand, the "reduced outlook for industry," high persisting risks and uncertainty over future demand, he said.

"The situation's the same over here, but we're so far keeping the volume of credits steady," he said.