The CBR has posted detailed banking sector statistics for March. The key takeaways are as follows.
The loan portfolio increased 2.3% MoM (27.2% YoY) supported by a rebound in the corporate loan book (1.9% MoM and 23.3% YoY) and further robust growth in retail (3.5% MoM and 40.6% YoY). Banks’ holdings in Russian companies’ bonds have increased 1.7% MoM and 3.8% YTD (vs. 1.5% for the loan book, which has been weakened by the 9% appreciation in the rouble).
Retail deposits increased 1.6% MoM and corporate accounts grew 0.9% MoM (19.6% and 19.1% YoY, respectively). The loan/deposit ratio increased further, to 87% (from 86% in the previous month).
The numbers came in line with the previously published preliminary numbers and reflect the seasonal pick up in loan demand, while we note that liquidity has improved significantly. Apart from the growth in plain vanilla corporate loans, we also note the strong increase in corporate bonds holdings (+1.7% MoM). The dataset confirms the bullish management guidance during the 4Q11 reporting season, with 20% as an achievable FY12 growth target.