Domestic lenders are confident about loan disbursement this year, especially in investment and working capital lending segments, data submitted to the banking regulator shows. "Banks have submitted their banking business plans RBBs and from what we have observed, it seems they are more optimistic about their businesses," Financial Services Authority (OJK) chairman Muliaman D. Hadad told The Jakarta Post recently.
According to the RBBs, the banking industry is eyeing 16 to 17 percent lending growth this year, higher than the expected achievement in 2014. "We predict lending grew 13 percent last year, even though lenders have not completed their full-year calculations," he added.
The OJK, along with the banking industry, expects the government's various infrastructure projects to spur demand for investment and working capital loans as the two are projected to grow higher than consumer loans.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has pledged to prioritize basic infrastructure projects during his five-year tenure to propel economic growth. The RBBs also reveal that in terms of funding, total third-party funds in 2015 are estimated to surge between 14 percent and 15 percent. The funding target is similar to what lenders set last year, but this year's realization will be better compared to 2014, according to Muliaman. The OJK attributes the implementation of a new fuel-subsidy scheme to one of the reasons behind liquidity improvement in 2015.
The government has claimed that it can save up to Rp 200 trillion in funds as a result of the scheme, which removes the subsidy for the widely used Premium gasoline, while maintaining small subsidies for diesel fuel and kerosene. Bankers have acknowledged that the government's planned projects will drive credit demand, especially in the productive sector, higher.
Bank Mandiri president director Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the state lender expected to see robust credit demand from its fellow state enterprises to develop infrastructure across the country. "We will see a lot of major investment this year, prompting demand for investment loans. Such demands will be followed by demand for working capital loans as well," he said. Besides from state enterprises, Mandiri predicts demand will also come from private firms, including those currently working to develop seaports.
Permata Bank president director Roy Arman Arfandy said the private lender would focus on disbursing loans to the productive sector as well this year to push economic growth. In terms of growth target, Permata which is equally owned by Astra International and Standard Chartered Bank aims to post 10 to 14 percent lending growth.
Meanwhile, CIMB Niaga strategy and finance director Wan Razly Abdullah and Bank Central Asia (BCA) president director Jahja Setiaatmadja shared opinions similar to that of their counterparts. While CIMB Niaga believes working capital and investment loans will grow faster than consumer, BCA expects its corporate and commercial segments to rise above 10 percent annually, higher than the consumer segment, which is predicted to increase by less than 10 percent.
Source: The Jakarta Post, 13 January 2015