CBR Deputy Chairman Mikhail Sukhov has presented the banking sector lending statistics for March, Kommersant reports. The corporate loan book increased 1.9% MoM after declining in the first two months of the year, with YoY growth rebounding to 23.4%. The positive change has also been supported by the 1.3% MoM rouble depreciation. The retail portfolio increased 3.5% MoM (and 40.7% YoY).
The overall portfolio performance (2.3% MoM and 27.3% YoY) comes above the previously guided expansion of 1.9% MoM and implies a further recovery in demand. It also suggests that Sberbank was again the major driver of retail book growth, with the bank flagging robust demand for loans.
These latest statistics imply upside risks to the consensus forecasts for FY12 lending growth of 20% YoY and our more conservative assessment of 15% YoY. Meanwhile, we think that Sberbank will further outperform the market and consider its ambitious 20-22% YoY target for loan growth as achievable. We are reiterating our positive view on the stock.