Banks See Rising Profits
Banks operating in Estonia together gained 97 million euros in profits last quarter and 663 million euros for the whole of 2011.
The threefold growth, compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, was significantly affected by a single transaction that accounted for 51 percent of profits. Namely, Swedbank's Estonian entity sold off Latvian and Lithuanian subsidiaries to the Swedish parent Swedbank AB.
Profits have also revived in the last five quarters thanks to the reducing amount of debt write-offs. In December, the share of loan repayments that were 60 days overdue decreased by half a percentage point to 4.8 percent. That figure hasn't been as low since 2009.
The Eurozone debt crisis has pushed up credit interest rates, which have been growing since September. Interest margins increased both in November and December, while the six-month Euribor base interest rate decreased slightly.
Savings continued to grow in December and reached 7.9 billion euros. Unlike in the previous months, the growth of corporate accounts exceeded that of retail customers' savings. In a year, savings have risen by 6.6 percent in total, and by 10.6 percent for private persons.