Yesterday, the CBR announced preliminary banking statistics for March. The MoM growth of the corporate loan book accelerated to 0.9%, from 0.4% in February, and while retail rose to 2.2%, from 1.7%. However, this was still below respective MoM increases of 1.9% and 3.5% in March 2012. YoY growth decelerated to 13.9% and 37.4%, from 15.0% and 39.1% posted in the previous month. Retail deposit growth remained strong: up 2.4% MoM (23.0% YoY) with interest rates staying high. Corporate deposits also increased 3.3% MoM (26.8% YoY). Assets increased 1.4% MoM (20.0% YoY).
We see the acceleration of loan growth in both the corporate and retail segments as a positive signal. However, we expect YoY growth to decelerate further due to lower demand and the higher base in 2012. Meanwhile, the still strong expansion of retail deposits supported by high interest rates, as banks are looking for funding, suggest further pressure on NIM.
Mikhail Shlemov, Svetlana Aslanova
VTB Capital analyst
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