The CBR has published interest rate statistics for January for up-to-one-year corporate loans and retail deposits, excluding Sberbank. Corporate lending rates declined sharply 40bp MoM to 10.0%, while retail customer account rates fell 20bp MoM to 7.0% (retail term deposit rates stayed flat at 8.4%). As a result, the spread narrowed 20bp MoM to 3.0%.
The significant decline in corporate lending rates suggests that banks are trying to restore demand for loans in the segment, with the portfolio growing in January at 13.6% YoY (or up from 12.7% YoY posted in December 2012). This also supports our view that banks’ margins will be under pressure in the near term from the high cost of funding (although we might see some decline in rates starting 2Q13), while low demand in Q1 and possible CBR policy easing, which we expect at the end of March–beginning of April, will likely keep assets re-pricing at a faster rate than liabilities. To recap, in 2013 we also see banks’ profitability coming under pressure from normalising CoR and slower loan growth.
Mikhail Shlemov, Svetlana Aslanova
VTB Capital analyst
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