Armenian commercial banks' lending to economy in first quarter grew to 3.5 trillion drams

14.05.2020 21:04
Armenian commercial banks' lending to economy in first quarter grew to 3.5 trillion drams

YEREVAN, May 14. /ARKA/. Armenia's banking sector was quick to respond to the situation caused by the spread of coronavirus, Mher Abrahamyan, Chairman of the Union of Banks of Armenia, said today.

He said the Central Bank and creditor organizations teamed up to create  mechanisms  of  an individual approach to borrowers, and also  to avoid deterioration of credit histories due to their failure to make payments stipulated by loan agreements.

According to Abrahamyan, the Central Bank, in particular, introduced some regulatory changes and applied a set of  tools that allowed commercial banks to announce so-called credit holidays for customers.

"As of May 5, Armenian banks provided credit holidays or otherwise revised around 700 thousand loans of about 400 thousand individuals worth more than 500 billion drams, as well as about 13 thousand loans of more than 10 thousand legal entities worth  more than 520 billion. drams," he said.

Abrahamyan also noted that Armenian banks are actively involved in the implementation of government-designed anti-crisis programs, assisting in ensuring the availability of funds provided by the government.

"Let's not forget that the banking system, as the driving force of the economy, did not stop working for a second; great resources were attracted to ensure the safety of both employees and customers," he stressed.

According to Abrahamyan, in addition to government programs, banks also continue lending to the economy with their own funds.

“I’ll cite several indicators that also testify to this: in the first quarter of 2020, the volume of loans provided by Armenian banks to the economy grew by about 2.3%, exceeding 3.5 trillion drams. The total capital of commercial banks over the same period increased by about 1.5%, amounting to more than 836 billion drams," he said.

The Armenian government, in general, has approved 18 programs to counteract the economic consequences of coronavirus. Eight are designed to show support to agriculture, tourism, SMEs, microbusiness, IT and other industries and the rest - to citizens of various categories.
A 30-day state of emergency to curb the spread of coronavirus was declared in Armenia on March 16 and restrictions were imposed on free movement of citizens. The government banned also some types of economic activity. On April 13, the government extended the state of emergency for another month and on May 4 it lifted the ban on almost all types of economic activity and the free movement of citizens, except for public transport. On May 14, the government has again extended the state of emergency for another 30 days.

Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan said today despite the extension, public transport, preschools, trading centers and gyms will reopen starting from May 18, but wearing of masks will also be mandatory in public spaces.

According to the latest official data, Armenia's confirmed cases of coronavirus have risen to 3,860; 49 people have died from it and 1,572 patients have recovered. ($1 - 487.66 drams). –0-


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