Bloomberg News

Serbian Loan Defaults for Companies Rise, Bank Association Says

December 13, 2011

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The rate of Serbian loan defaults increased among corporate clients in November, according to the Association of Serbian Banks.

The net rate of late payments, defined as 15 days or more for companies, rose to 15.6 percent from 14.8 percent in October among corporate clients, even as it improved among small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to 12.4 percent from 12.7 percent, the Belgrade-based organization said in its monthly report.

Total loan volume, including retail lending to individuals, was little changed at 1.853 trillion dinars ($23.73 billion). The net defaults in consumer, cash, mortgage and home renovation loans, defined as falling behind by at least 60 days, was stable at 3.7 percent, said Veroljub Dugalic, who heads the association representing 33 banks in the Serbian market.

“The general tendency is not positive,” he told reporters in Belgrade today. “The obvious reluctance to take new loans is a clear sign of continuously falling confidence” among both corporate and individual clients.

The report was released a day after the country’s central bank said it would ease lending conditions by lowering loan-loss provisioning rates. The move should free up 57 billion dinars from a total of 447 billion dinars that banks keep in reserves for delinquent loans.

The move will probably lead to lower interest rates on commercial loans, Dugalic said.

--Editor: Zoe Schneeweiss

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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