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BANKING

Argentina’s banks see strong credit demand as their model shifts

Banks see normalization, with credit growth the driver of results; new mortgage product excites the market.

Credit growth is returning to Argentina and is right on time to help the banks that are having to shift their business models.

Recent results from Banco Macro and Banco Galicia show 20%-plus year-on-year loan portfolio growth in real terms.

The growth in credit demand in the country is being led by the corporate sector, but the recovery is broad-based. There is a burgeoning increase in mortgages – albeit from a practically non-existent base – while other retail lending is also seeing positive trends.

Sergio Grinenco suit-160x186

Sergio Grinenco,
Banco Galicia

Sergio Grinenco, CEO of Banco Galicia, says recent results show that the long anticipated demand for credit is now playing out.

“The system is now showing a good performance in lending,” he says, adding that deposit growth is lagging due to the liquidity in the system, with many Argentines preferring to invest in mutual funds or buy central bank securities, such as Lebacs.

According to Credit Suisse analysts, Galicia’s strong results – net income rose 34% year on year, unadjusted for inflation that is around 22% – were driven mostly by growing demand for credit.