The assets of Bosnia’s commercial banks increased 3.2% y/y to a total of BAM 22.3bn (EUR 11.4bn) at end-April, easing from a 3.9% annual growth the month before, central bank data showed. The reading accounted for 80% of the full-year GDP forecast, down from 82% of GDP a year earlier.
Total loans, which accounted for the bulk of bank assets (72%), increased 3.6% y/y to BAM 16bn at end-April, the same as the previous month.
So far in 2013, Bosnia’s loan growth has been largely driven by corporate lending (mainly long-term loans in local currency). End-April loans to private and public companies grew 3.6% y/y to BAM 8.4bn (52% share in total). Household loans growth remained sluggish, inching up 1.4% to BAM 6.8bn over the period, reflecting rising unemployment (at over 46%) and declining real wages.
Banks foreign assets, which have been declining in annual terms since June 2012, shrank 10.1% y/y to BAM 2.4bn (10.6% share in total banking sector’s assets) at end-April, worsening from a 1.1% drop at end-March.
Credit supply in Bosnia remains constrained by rising non-performing loans, at 13.8% of total loans at end-Q1 2013, while weak consumption and investment continue to weigh on credit demand.
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