September 9, 2009 / 2:16 PM / 8 years ago

Russia state and state-aided banks drive lending

2 Min Read

MOSCOW, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Russia's state banks and those who received subordinated credits from the government were responsible for 50 percent of the corporate loans made in the country in the first half, data showed on Wednesday. The government has been counting on banks to help Russia out of recession, calling on them to step up lending and to pass on official interest rate cuts to end-borrowers.

Of the 9.2 trillion roubles ($295 billion) lent to Russian companies in the first six months of the year, 2.7 trillion roubles came from state-controlled banks and 1.9 trillion roubles was lent by privately-owned recipients of government funds through subordinated loans.

In April, the rules on such loans were changed, where by recipients need to secure just 1 rouble from their shareholders and third parties for every 3 roubles they get from the state.

So far, only Gazprombank [ID:nLR292119] and Alfa Bank [ID:nL1734228] have got loans under the revised terms. Russian Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev, meeting President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday, called for the handing out of the subordinated loans to be sped up. He added overdue loans to corporates increased by just 5 percent in August, further proof the growth of non-performing loans in Russia is slowing down.

"That is the smallest monthly increase since the start of the year," Ignatyev said.

The liquidity situation in the banking system has also normalised, with banks repaying 1.1 trillion roubles of the collateral-free loans handed out by the central bank ahead of schedule during the first half, data from the regulator showed.

The relatively high interest rates make such funding less attractive when other sources of financing are available. (Reporting by Yelena Fabrichnaya and Oleg Shchedrov; Writing by Toni Vorobyova; editing by Chris Pizzey)

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