Croatia central bank expects bad loans to fall below 10 pct in 2018

ZAGREB, March 27 (Reuters) - The level of non-performing loans in the Croatian banking system is expected to continue falling this year, the central bank governor said on Tuesday.

“I expect the level of bad loans to fall below 10 percent this year,” Governor Boris Vujcic said at a banking conference in the northern Adriatic resort of Rovinj.

At the end of last year, non-performing loans amounted to 11.37 percent. The last time they were below 10 percent was in mid-2010.

The level of non-performing loans in Croatia peaked at 17.34 percent in mid-2015, following six consecutive years of recession years for the youngest EU member from 2009 to 2014.

Around 90 percent of Croatia’s banks are owned by parents from other European Union countries, notably Italy, Austria and Hungary.

Croatian banks had a total 245.9 billion kuna ($41.00 billion) of loans outstanding at the end of 2017. More than half, or 146.7 billion kuna, were denominated in euros. ($1 = 5.9977 kuna) (Reporting by Igor Ilic, editing by Larry King)