Banks credit to private sector grows

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), says credit to the private sector by banks grew steadily from 6.8 per cent in August 2017 to 12.8 per cent in December, on year-on-year basis, reflecting recovery from the slack in the first half year.


“The gradual increase in private sector credit extension was supported by some easing of credit stance on loans to small, medium and large enterprises,” Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said at a news conference in Accra on Monday.


Announcing the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), however, he said, BoG survey showed net tightening of credit stance to long-term loans to enterprises and households as banks continued to repair their balance sheets.


The MPC is responsible for formulating and implementing policy in the areas of money, banking and credit with the main aim of maintaining stable prices conducive to balanced and stable economic growth as well as promoting and preserving monetary stability.


The Governor said evidence from all the leading indicators monitored by the BoG showed that the revised end year projected GDP of 7.9 per cent was attainable.


Dr. Addison said the banking sector as a whole continued to be liquid, profitable and solvent although asset quality remained a concern.


He said consistent with contained aggregate demand pressures, there was a slower pace of growth in the key monetary aggregates during the second half of 2017.


“Annual growth in total liquidity slowed to 16.7 per cent in December 2017 from 22.0 per cent a year ago,” he said.


Following improved macroeconomic conditions, the Governor said interest rates also generally followed a declining trend.


“Interbank rates, that is, the rates at which commercial banks lend among themselves, declined to 19.3 per cent as against 25.4 per cent in December 2016,” he said.


Dr Addision said that the interest rate, equivalent of the benchmark treasury, securities also declined.


Expatiating, he said: “The 91-day treasury bill rate dropped to 13.3 per cent (16.8 per cent in December 2016), the 182-day rate also declined to 13.8 per cent (18.5 per cent in December 2016) and the 1-year note also declined markedly to 15 per cent (21.5 per cent in December 2016).”


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