The key rate is falling faster than lending is reviving

The key rate is falling faster than lending is reviving
The key rate is falling faster than lending is reviving
10 June, 21:23EconomyPhoto: Фото:
On June 10, the Bank of Russia, as predicted, once again lowered the key rate - to 9.5%, that is, to the sanctions level. Banks will then lower interest rates on loans, but experts believe that the desired effect on the economy will not be quick.

Ekaterina Maksimova

All week stock market experts shared their forecasts and wondered how many steps down on June 10 the regulator will come down. And will the rate fall to February values - 9.5%.

Analyst FG "Finam" Igor Dodonov listed "New Izvestia" the main reasons for lowering the rate to the pre-crisis level. “Inflation in Russia has slowed down significantly in recent weeks, and against this background, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation continues to lower the rate in order to support the economy by reducing the cost of loans for businesses and the population. Another possible reason is to slow down the strengthening of the ruble, which has a negative impact on the income of exporters and the budget,” said analyst Igor Dodonov.

Previous attempts by the regulator to cheer up the lending market, primarily mortgage, did not bring tangible results. “In April-May, despite a certain decrease, mortgage rates were still quite high, so demand was observed almost entirely in the soft mortgage segment. In addition, in the face of increased macroeconomic uncertainty, potential borrowers prefer to take a wait-and-see attitude, while banks have tightened requirements for borrowers. With further rate cuts and the gradual adaptation of the population and banks to the new economic reality, we can expect a certain revival of the mortgage market, although the recovery will probably not be quick,” the analyst at FG Finam believes.

Experts also predict a further slowdown in inflation. According to Igor Dodonov, the main peak of consumer price growth in the Russian Federation, apparently, has already passed. “And inflation in the medium term will most likely continue to slow down, while it is possible that it will fall below 10% on the horizon of the year,” Igor Dodonov does not exclude.

The representative of FG "Finam" also believes that the ruble bank deposits, the rates for which will automatically decrease following the key rate, will still remain for the Russians now the only available savings instrument.

“Deposit rates are now 9-10%, that is, they may well compensate, if not all, then most of the inflation. After the expiration of short deposits, which people opened at 20% in March, some part of the funds will probably go to the stock market, despite the risks. But for the majority of people, apparently, a bank deposit will remain the most acceptable choice. It is not certain that it will completely preserve the purchasing power of money, but it is a low-risk instrument and still offsets most of the inflation. Therefore, I do not expect a significant outflow of depositors' money from banks, ”Dodonov argues.

Recall that since the beginning of the events in Ukraine, the Central Bank has changed the key rate for the fifth time. First, the rate was raised to 20%, after which the mortgage lending market fell into suspended animation. In April, the Central Bank lowered the rate twice to 17 and then to 14%. In May, the rate dropped to 11%.

The mortgage lending market, which was revived with the help of state support programs, did not revive in May. Novye Izvestia reported that a significant drop was recorded at the end of spring. Last month, banks signed a total of 31.5 thousand contracts with mortgage borrowers, which is 73% less compared to the same period last year.

The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation is confident that the mortgage market will move to steady growth in the coming months. “The decisions made regarding the state support of the mortgage market will help to restore the issuance of loans in the near future. As a result, we expect that the volume of lending in monetary terms under subsidized programs by the end of 2022 will exceed the volume of issuance in 2021,” the Ministry of Finance said a day before the next key rate cut. Last year, the Russians issued 526,000 mortgage loans under state programs for 1.6 trillion rubles.

Well, as for consumer lending, despite the Central Bank's rate cut, it is still at a predatory level. These days, Sberbank customers, for example, are being offered loans for any purpose "only" at 26 percent per annum. And it will not be too much, given that the Central Bank rate has fallen below 10 percent???

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