BANKING

Big credit expansion projected for this year

Big credit expansion projected for this year

Greek banks’ business plans for 2022 provide for net new disbursements up to 7 billion euros, with an emphasis on new corporate financing that is expected to constitute the main growth factor of banking activity this year.

That estimate concerns the net credit expansion, without the repayment of existing loans, which is also projected to perform well, and reach up to some €18 billion, thereby taking the sum of loan issues as high as €25 billion. That estimate, banking sources note, is considered realistic even under the current adverse conditions that the geopolitical crisis has generated.

National Bank foresees a net credit expansion of €1.5-2 billion this year, Eurobank puts its own at €2.3 billion, Alpha Bank anticipates its will reach €2.2 billion and Piraeus eyes an expansion of €1.3 billion.

The data that the Bank of Greece presented on Monday for February generate some optimism regarding the course of lending, as the net credit expansion to corporations amounted to 4.4% last month, raising the net flow of financing above €1 billion, compared to a negative result of €994 million in January.