Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Overtakes Turkey in Loan Growth

Moody's issued a note last week warning of rising pessimism amongst Russian bankers — however, they should be cheered as the results come in. Russia's banking sector is now officially the most dynamic in the region. The sector as a whole just put in a record year, earning one-and-a-half times more profit in 2011 than a year earlier. But more importantly, it overtook Turkey, the darling of investors for most of last year, to become the fastest-growing credit market in Central and Eastern Europe.

With 27% FX-adjusted lending growth in 2011, Russia has overtaken Turkey to become the credit growth leader in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EEMEA), Barclays Capital said in a report. Momentum accelerated in the second half of the year, when Russian loan growth was annualizing at 30 to 35 percent, widening the gap from Turkey's 10 to 15 percent. In a world of sluggish credit growth Russia stands out, offering an attractive risk-reward ratio that we believe emerging markets investors should not ignore, particularly once political noise tapers after the March 4 presidential election.

The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.