Against the backdrop of the crisis and pandemic, the Central Bank recorded a surge in corporate lending. The volume of loans issued to businesses increased last year by 20%, or by 10 trillion rubles, follows from the statistics of the regulator. Moreover, despite the large-scale concessional lending programs, most of the companies borrowed on market conditions, noted in the banks from the top 30. Independent experts and financial institutions expect a further increase in corporate liabilities: last year, companies borrowed to preserve their business, in 2021 loans will be directed to recovery… The Central Bank notes that a significant part of the loans were received by organizations from the financial sector – leasing and factoring companies.
There were reasons
The amount of loans issued to businesses exceeded 61 trillion rubles last year… This is 10 trillion rubles, or 20%, more than in 2019, follows from the data of the regulator (Izvestia analyzed them).
The analytical note by the Central Bank explains that the main reasons for the surge are the maintenance of demand in the economy with the help of state support, favorable conditions, as well as a significant increase in lending to financial organizations. – leasing and factoring companies. When asked by Izvestia to clarify how many loans were issued to such organizations, and to further explain the surge in loans in the corporate sector, the Central Bank did not respond.
Photo: Izvestia / Konstantin Kokoshkin
The main reasons for the growth in lending in the past year were large-scale preferential government programs, a general decrease in rates in the market and the demand of companies for debt restructuring., says Igor Dodonov, analyst of the Finam Group. At the same time, the increase in the corporate portfolio of banks was largely due to foreign exchange revaluation due to the depreciation of the ruble by more than 20% per year. Without taking this factor into account, the growth was 10%, which is still almost twice as much as in 2019, the expert estimated.
This change in indicators is largely due to the ability to refinance loans, which pushed businesses to close old debts in order to receive new, larger amounts, said Freedom Finance analyst Evgeniy Mironyuk.
Against the background of the increased debt there are some risks of debt loadIgor Dodonov believes that concessional loans were issued to the industries most affected by the pandemic, even to companies with a poor credit profile, which will find it difficult to recover. The main goal of the state programs was to preserve employment.
Photo: Izvestia / Dmitry Korotaev
Experts predict further growth in corporate lending in 2021. The portfolio may increase by 8-10%, says Igor Dodonov. This will be facilitated by the expectations of companies to raise interest rates on loans, explained Yevgeny Mironyuk.
On market conditions
Top 30 banks confirmed significant growth in business lending in 2020. For example, Sberbank’s corporate loan portfolio, excluding currency revaluation, increased by 9.1% to RUB 15.5 trillion… One of the reasons was the business demand for financing the liquidity gap after the slowdown in consumption, the press service of the organization said.
The portfolio of corporate loans in VTB increased by 15% and reached 9.3 trillion rubles, and the volume of business debts in MKB – by 29%, to 929 billion…
The increase in indicators was also noted in Gazprombank… It is characteristic that the share of loans under last year’s extensive preferential programs was not comparable with those issued on market conditions, the organization noted. Gazprombank explained this by the fact that a significant part of the support for companies and employment concerned the segment of small and medium-sized businesses.
In 2020, programs were introduced to provide credit vacations, loans for urgent needs and for the resumption of activities, as well as various preferential conditions.
Under programs to support industries affected by the pandemic, about 0.5 billion rubles were issued, in general with the help of state funds – 7.7 billion, while the total volume of loans to businesses reached 300 billion rubles, the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Bank Saint Petersburg confirmed the trend Vyacheslav Ermolin.
Photo: Izvestia / Konstantin Kokoshkin
The growth of lending was supported by a decrease in the key rate, in addition, the companies increased their debt against the background of a decrease in revenue, explained Ilya Ilyin, Head of the Banking and Financial Markets Analysis Department at PSB.
Tinkoff recorded a significant increase in lending to SMEs. In the organization in 2020, the sector portfolio has tripled compared to 2019 and continued to expand in 2021.
The two main drivers for the growth of lending to enterprises were programs with state support and an increase in the volume of loans to companies in the medical sector., said Vladislav Monov, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Corporate Lending at Sovcombank. In Rosbank, 65% of the increase in the portfolio of such loans was due to the expansion of work with large companies, including international clients., noted the head of the corporate business directorate Alexey Ievlev.
In 2021, banks expect further growth of the business loan portfolio – up to 25%. In 2020, the demand for loans was more of a compensatory nature to smooth out the negative impact of the coronavirus on economic activity, while in 2021 there will be recovery growth as the economic situation improves after the acute phase of the epidemic, according to the press service of Sber.