This article is part of K Quarterly # Issue 1 / November-January 2017. Contact us for subscription options on [email protected]
Happy shareholders / Bulgarian banks improve their profitability. The net profit of the Bulgarian banking system exceeded 500 mln euro in the first eight months of 2016 - more than the profit for the whole 2015. The five biggest banks on the market (UniCredit Bulbank, DSK, FIB, UBB and Eurobank) account for 71% of the result. Compared to the same period of last year, the profit is 192 mln euro higher. This is mainly due to one-off effect from the acquisition of Visa Europe by Visa Inc which led to a windfall gain for all European members of the card franchise. According to some estimations the transaction contributed 75 - 87 mln euro to the aggregated net profit. Another factor for the good result is the growth of mortgage lendingby 46.6 mln euro.
Take a credit / Good times for corporate borrowers. The average interest rate on corporate loans continued its steady drop, reaching levels below 5%. August data of the Bulgarian National Bank shows new credit contracts for less than 1 mln euro were signed at 4.51% on average, which is 2-3 pp lower than in August 2015. For loans exceeding 1 mln euro the average rate was 4.16%, which is 1.29 pp lower than in the previous month in 2016.