19062019Headline:

Bank of Greece: Demand for loans slightly up in first quarter of 2019

Demand for loans to non-financial corporations (NFCs) and households increased somewhat in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, the Bank of Greece said in a report released on Tuesday, especially regarding long-term loans for large enterprises, due to increased financing needs for fixed investments and debt refinancing/restructuring.

During the next quarterly survey round, the demand for loans to NFCs is expected to remain broadly unchanged, with the exception of the demand for loans to small and medium size enterprises, which is expected to increase to some extent. The share of rejected applications for loans to NFCs remained unchanged during the first quarter of 2019

The central bank said that in the first quarter of 2019, the credit standards for loans to non-financial corporations (NFCs) remained unchanged compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, in line with the expectations expressed in the previous quarterly survey round. Moreover, banks expect that credit standards will in general remain almost unchanged during the second quarter of 2019. The terms and conditions for loans to NFCs remained overall broadly unchanged, although there was a slight narrowing of the banks’ loan margin on ordinary loans compared to the previous quarter.

In the first quarter of 2019, the credit standards as well as the terms and conditions for loans to households remained unchanged compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, in line with expectations expressed in the previous survey round.

The demand for loans to households increased somewhat compared with the fourth quarter of 2018 which was not in line with the previous quarter’s expectations. The demand for housing loans increased due to improved prospects of the real estate market supported by increased activity of non-resident investors, while the demand for consumer loans increased due to the improved consumer confidence and the need to finance purchases of consumer durables.

Banks expect that credit standards for loans to households will remain unchanged during the second quarter of 2019, while the demand for loans to households is expected to somewhat increase.