Credits in Exotic Currencies in Romania: 14-fold Increase Year-on-Year

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Funding granted by banks in "exotic" currencies (currencies other than RON, euros or dollars), have increased 14 times in terms of volume over the past year (April 2006 - April 2007), according to the latest available data from the NBR (National Bank of Romania).

The vast majority of these credits are denominated in Swiss francs, with a small amount of funding granted in Japanese yen. Last year, Banca Romaneasca attempted to attract funding in yen through a mortgage credit, but the product was withdrawn in the spring of 2007, because of the lack of demand.

Swiss francs, however, proved successful among the clients of the seven banks that chose to grant credits in this currency.

Overall, funding in exotic currencies reached an overall volume equivalent to 1.67 billion RON (over half a billion euros) at the end of April 2007, 14 times as high as the 122 million RON registered in April 2006.

The share of exotic funding in the total credits granted by banks reached 1.4% in April 2007, against an almost unmodified share of 0.2% registered in April over the last three years. Since the beginning of this year alone, in just four months, funding in exotic currencies increased 125% from 741 million RON to 1.67 billion RON.

Funding in Swiss francs has taken hold of all market segments, from small value consumer credits, to credits for vehicles and to high-value mortgage-real estate credits.

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