Bank Loans To Kazakhstan Economy Up In First Half Of 2016

Forecast for Kazakhstan's growth in 2017 increased from 2.4% to 3.7%

In June 2016 the total volume of loans issued by the banking sector to the economy of Kazakhstan had reached KZT 12.5 trillion. However, despite a remarkable fall in new loans in January 2016 the total volume of new loans was up by 6.8 percent year on year in the first six months of 2016, reports.

The January fall was caused by, above all, restrictions the National Bank imposed on the release of liquidity to commercial banks in order to stabilise the exchange rate of the tenge. As a result, in order to fulfil capital adequacy requirements, banks wound down their loan programmes, reducing new loans by 53 percent compared to December 2015.

The cost of loans increased by 1.5 percentage points on average to 15.1 percent per year. At the same time, banks were less willing to issue new loans in June, too: the share of new loans fell from 7.2 percent in June 2015 to 6.6 percent in June 2016.

Loans became more expensive for companies operating in all sectors of the economy, with the highest interest rates recorded on loans to IT and telecom companies (16.4 percent on average). Despite the falling oil prices banks continued to consider mining companies as reliable borrowers, offering them loans at 10.7 percent per annum.

New loans were increasingly attracted to the processing sector. Banks were also traditionally less willing to loan the agricultural sector: the share of new loans accounted for a meager 2.3 percent of the total loans issued.