Zoran Petrovic exclusively for BIZLife: “As soon as money is cheap, people buy real estate” (VIDEO)
The corona virus pandemic affected the banking sector and the results in the past year were much weaker than in 2019, but fortunately the banks managed to cope with all the challenges, says Zoran Petrovic, President of the Executive Board of Raiffeisen Bank and President of the American Chamber of Commerce. in Serbia.
The crisis of 2008 taught us to react quickly
He also says that the crisis of 2008 taught us to react quickly, which proved to be extremely important during this pandemic.
“In 2019, banks earned over 500 million euros before taxes, and in 2020 below 400 and a few million, and the difference is in the costs that banks had to reserve for potentially problematic clients.“, He said in an interview for the BIZLife portal on the sidelines of the Kopaonik Business Forum.
He adds that this was a key change caused by the pandemic, and that the other challenge was how to make the business work without protecting employees from the virus.
Thanks to the fact that the banks managed to send a large number of employees to work from home, but also to organize work in branches, he adds.
“We have not had any problems with productivity, in any case it has been difficult and challenging for years for us, which the banks have successfully completed, and it is important that the share of worse clients has not increased significantly and we hope it will remain so in the future.” allegations.
The “emergency” is still present in a way
He says that there is no significant impact due to the moratorium on the repayment of credit obligations, but that in some way the “emergency situation” is still present and that it can be expected that there will be companies that will go bankrupt and workers who will lose their jobs. state and vaccination with minor consequences to get out of this crisis.
As for interest rates, Petrovic expects to remain unchanged this year.
When will our loans become more expensive?
The growth of dinar interest rates can be expected only in 2022, and as for the interest rate on the euro, it is not expected before 2025, he says.
“There are a lot of challenges, inflation is waking up and a good indicator will be what will happen to inflation in the second part of the year, it is evident that there will be a lot of challenges for monetary policy makers“, Emphasizes Zoran Petrović.
The growth of public debt, he says, should not worry us because it has increased everywhere and it would be much worse if the state did not intervene.
The number of housing loans is growing everywhere
Speaking about the trend of increasing housing loans, he adds that such a trend is present in the entire region of Central and Southeast Europe, as well as in the West, and it is not only the specificity of Serbia.
“As soon as money is cheap, people don’t know what to do with it, interest rates are close to zero or around zero and most people save in foreign currency, so for someone who has money and saves as an investment activity, he appears to invest in real estate“, Adds Petrovic.
Petrovic also referred to the AmCham research in which two thirds of the members said that they would keep the same number of employees, and more than 65 percent that they would achieve better results than in 2019 and 2020.
The president of AmCham reminded that the economic association conducted a survey among member companies in April, which shows optimistic forecasts for the growth of the Serbian economy.
Photo: Raiffeisen Bank
Source: BIZlife by www.bizlife.rs.
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