Banks have room to grow

  • 2004-09-09
  • Baltic News Service
RIGA - Baltic banks still have major growth potential in lending, as they possess a low ratio of domestic lending against GDP in comparison with eurozone countries, Nord/LB analysts said last week.

Nord/LB macroeconomic analyst Vadim Titarenko said that in Lithuania the ratio of domestic loans to GDP was 25.2 percent, in Latvia 45.4 percent and Estonia 59.7 percent.
In eurozone countries the respective figure is 160.5 percent.
Titarenko said the banking credit portfolio growth in the first quarter of the year has been high in the Baltic states, but he predicted growth would gradually slow down. The banking credit portfolio in Latvia this year is expected to grow by 45 percent, Lithuania 35.5 percent, Estonia 34 percent, while next year 's 40 percent, 31.2 percent and 25 percent respectively.
Nord/LB analysts said that they believed the high rate of lending growth in Latvia was causing no danger to the country's economic development.