Albania’s banks are expected to restart lending to the corporate sector, as government attempts to lower non-performing loans and reform the judicial system continue to improve the business environment and raise hopes of a future inside the EU reports TheBanker.com
Like many countries in Southern Europe, Albania passed a difficult period caused from the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. Bad loans in banks reached 25% in September 2014, and since then they have dropped to 13.2%.
The government believes that the worst has passed and hopes that bad loans decrease by the end of 2018. Since the time of the crises, the Albanian bansks have approved harsher criteria for giving loans, and smaller banks have been secured.
According to IMF, in Mars 2017, the total assets in the banking sector in Albania reached 11.3 billion dollars, compared to 14 billion dollars of the GDP of Albania.
The governor of the Bank of Albania, Gent Sejko, declared that the banks hold a strong position. ‘’ Most of the banks in Albania have a foreign capital and as a result the global financial crisis had no affect here. However, the banks continue to gain momentum, and are able to cope with it.
‘’Fortunately, we haven’t seen any sign of the crisis that affected Greece or the problems Italy faced’’- declared Governor of the Bank of Albania, Gent Sejko.
However, the International Monetary Fund projects an increase of 3.7% of the economy, for this year and the upcoming. According to the head of the Albanian Association of Banks, Silvio Pedrazzi, Albania offers many unexploited opportunities, especially in the field of renewable energy, tourism and manufacturing.
He added that the position of Albania, makes it an entry gate for the Balkans and for trade with European countries.
The banks are expected to be on a strong financial position, following the latest consolidation wave, and in the EU membership becomes a reality, the chances are that in the future every opportunity should be exploited.