After the discount rate was reduced to 15% in December, loans in Ukraine may likely become cheaper. Deputy head of the NBU Sergei Nikolaychuk stated this in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
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Nikolaychuk explained that in the situation with loans, rates depend mainly on the riskiness criterion of borrowers, while at the same time, in the corporate sector, the situation with the creditworthiness of borrowers is improving, judging by the dynamics of non-performing loans and the effectiveness of state lending programs.
The Deputy Head of the National Bank expressed hope that a decrease in lending rates will occur due to a decrease in the risk premium.
“The National Bank, together with its partners, is developing a lending development strategy, a significant part of which should be aimed at significantly reducing this risk premium in lending rates, especially for the corporate sector. This is our priority medium-term task,” added Nikolaychuk.
At the same time, he noted that with regard to deposits the situation is somewhat different.
“We do not expect a significant reduction in deposit rates, especially for time deposits in hryvnia, given precisely the incentives that we provide to banks with the help of our auxiliary instrument – three-month certificates of deposit,” he said.
Speaking about the likelihood of a change in the discount rate in 2024, he noted that the October forecast, according to which the discount rate will remain at the level of 15% throughout the year, is relevant.
The Deputy Head of the National Bank recalled that the discount rate will be depend on the situation in the financial sector, the level of inflation, the state of the foreign exchange market, international reserves and international assistance.
“During the discussion at the ILC (in December 2023), the majority of its members saw the highest probability that these factors next year will be favorable to allow the NBU to reduce the discount rate by 1-2 percentage points,” Nikolaychuk said.
He also assured that in the new forecast cycle, which will end with the publication of an updated macroeconomic forecast 25 January, new assumptions will be taken into account, and the regulator will present new estimates, in particular, on the discount rate.
“Does this forecast rate remain at the level of 15% for the whole of 2024, or will it be different until I “I can’t tell you,” added the deputy head of the NBU.