19 Oct 2009 15:04

Russian bank loans down slightly by Oct

MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) - The Russian banking sector's overall lending to the non-financial sector and retail clients decreased slightly in October compared with the start of this year, CB First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev told reporters.

"[The loan portfolio] is now slightly lower than it was on January 1," Ulyukayev said. "It was a little higher right up to September, but now it is a little lower," he said, adding that this was a matter of a few tenths of a percent.

Ulyukayev noted that there was growth in loan portfolios in August and small declines in September and October, but he said it was too early to pinpoint the precise causes of the decline.

"It is a short period - June, July, August, September - four months plus a bit, where we now have this unstable stability," he said, noting that various factors could be affecting the size of the loan portfolio, including foreign exchange valuations, changes in structure and other factors.

According to Central Bank data published earlier, enterprises in the non-financial sector had received 12.5097 trillion rubles in loans as of January 1, 2009, rising to 12.8104 trillion rubles as of September 1. Loans to individuals in that period fell to 3.6598 trillion rubles from 4.0172 trillion rubles.

Thus, the total of loans to the non-financial sector declined 0.3% to 16.4702 trillion rubles as of September 1 from 16.5269 trillion rubles at the beginning of the year.