Lending to private sector continues to accelerate despite BCRP measures

Monday, March 21, 2011

Growth in Peruvian bank lending to the private sector has continued to accelerate despite efforts from central bank BCRP to tame inflation by slowing lending.

Total credit to the private sector through the middle of February expanded by 19.3% annually when measured at a constant foreign exchange rate, to 127bn soles (US$45.7bn), according to the latest statistics from BCRP.

The figure is in line with the annual expansion of 19.6% seen through the end of January, the fastest rate of private sector credit growth since June 2009.

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BCRP has been trying since February last year to cool bank lending - and therefore Peru's red-hot economic growth - by steadily raising reserve requirements. It has raised the requirements twice this year.


The expansion is taking place at an especially quick clip in the US dollar portfolio, which rose by 2.5% between February 15 and January 15, the fastest monthly expansion since May last year and the second fastest since 2008.

Banks had US$20.1bn in US dollar loans on their books as of mid-February, according to the BCRP numbers.

Lending in soles expanded at a slower rate of 1.3% for the monthly period, to 70.1bn soles, though annually the expansion of sol lending still beats US dollar lending.

In August 2010, the amount of US dollar lending as a percentage of the total portfolio dropped to 44%. But the fall in that ratio has stalled since then, and it remained at 44% through mid-February.