There will be no increase in interest rates in Serbia

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The financial sector in Serbia expects that, along with vaccination, economic activity will grow this year, and that appropriate macroeconomic and monetary policies can prevent the growth of inflation.

The annual edition of that economic magazine “Finance TOP” states that the trend of enlarging the banking sector continued last year, so four banks – Intesa, OTP, NLB and Unicredit, together held more than half of the domestic market.

Bankers predict further consolidation because there are no banks in Serbia that specialize in a certain area, so in a situation when everyone provides similar products and services, the size of the bank ensures its competitiveness, easier access to funding sources and thus better profitability.

Representatives of banks in Serbia generally predict that there will be no soon increase in interest rates, and that they will remain at the same level as long as there is excess liquidity and low cost of risk.

In the long run, there is a danger of the economy overheating, which would lead to higher inflation, and consequently, the possibility of a recession.

Also, bankers estimate that, at the moment, the National Bank of Serbia manages inflation well and that with further appropriate macroeconomic and monetary policy, a balance can be ensured that will not endanger financial stability.

According to the ranking list published in the edition “Finance TOP”, AIK Bank was the most profitable bank in Serbia in 2020, with a profit of over 83 million euros.

After a long time, Banka Intesa lost its leading position and fell to second place with a profit of slightly less than 80.5 million euros. The change at the top was primarily due to the fact that AIK Bank did not have increased provisions for risky placements.

In third place is Raiffeisen Bank with a profit of over 46 million euros, fourth is Unicredit Bank whose profit was slightly less than 45.7 million euros, and among the top five is Komercijalna Banka, but with a profit that fell below 25 million euros.

With the exception of AIK Bank, all other leading banks recorded a decline in profitability. Komercijalna banka had the largest decrease in profit compared to 2019, which can be explained by the usual “balance sheet make-up” in the privatization process that took place last year, according to the “Finance TOP” edition.

Among insurance companies, the largest premium last year was realized by Dunav Insurance in the amount of 251 million euros, which makes about 26 percent of the total premium on the market.

In second place is Generali Insurance with a premium of 187 million euros. Wiener Stadtische Insurance reached the third place with a premium of 111 million euros, moving by a position higher than in 2019. DDOR Novi Sad is on the fourth place with a premium of 110 million euros, while Triglav osiguranje is on the fifth position with a premium of 60.1 million euros.

The value of newly concluded financial leasing contracts in Serbia fell by 20 percent last year, to 408.06 million euros, which is 104.47 million euros less than the year before, 021 reports.