At the end of April 2018, the total value of retail lending in Croatia amounted to 120 billion kuna (€16.2 billion), up 0.6 percent compared to March, and reaching its highest level since January 2016, Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) analysts said in their comments on the data released by the central bank.
In April, retail lending was up year-on-year for the eighth month running, by 2.2 percent, which was the largest monthly increase since April 2012, indicating that a gradual recovery of the lending market is underway, RBA says.
The share of loans denominated in the local currency kuna was up by 6.6 percentage points year-on-year, equalling the share of loans denominated in foreign currencies. In April 2018, the total value of kuna-denominated loans recorded a two-digit annual increase, exceeding 60 billion kuna (€8.1 billion).
The year-on-year growth in kuna loans began in the first half of 2013, while the decline of foreign currency loans began in 2012, RBA said. In April 2018, the nominal value of foreign currency loans totalled 60.3 billion kuna, or 8.6 percent down on the year.
Housing loans accounted for 44 percent of all retail lending, remaining unchanged month-on-month, but going up 1.1 percent compared to April 2017 to 52.6 billion kuna (€7.1 billion). Housing loans grew year-on-year for the sixth month in a row. Those denominated in kune accounted for nearly 28 percent of all housing loans, up by 6 percentage points annually.
They grew by 27.5 percent annually to 14.6 billion kuna (€2 billion) at the end of April 2018. Kuna loans with a foreign currency clause dropped to 72 percent from 78 percent to under 38 billion kuna.
(€1 = 7.38 kuna)