Credit growth weakened in July following a particularly strong showing the prior month, a report by the National Bank of Kuwait showed Monday.
"Credit growth slowed in July as total credit shrank during the month. Year-on-year (y/y) growth slowed to 7.4 percent following a strong month in June. Credit dropped by KD 218 million during the month, the largest decline in over four years," reads the report.
It stated that the household credit growth was on the weaker side, but the weakness came largely from lending for the purchase of securities and the real estate sector.
"While household credit was weaker due to seasonal factors, credit to non-financial businesses was the main reason behind loan growth weakness." The NBK, however, forecasted that the credit growth would rebound in remaining months of 2014.
"Still, we expect credit growth to strengthen during the remaining months of 2014, and clock in an average rate upwards of 8 percent for the year. Meanwhile, large seasonal sight deposit withdrawals saw the monetary supply contract. Interest rates remained stable.
It noted that household debt was weaker than usual, though this may have been due to reduced activity in Ramadan and the Eid holidays.
"Personal facilities ex-securities were up only KD 59 million, as y/y growth easing to 12.7 percent . Some of the weakness is due to the settlement of Family Fund loans, which may be taking around two percentage points off y/y growth, and possibly compounded by seasonal factors," added the report.
"Credit to non-bank financials declined in July, with the sector continuing to see a cycle of deleveraging. Sector credit shrank by KD 30 million. The deleveraging has seen total credit drop by 15.6 percent over the last 12 months. We can expect non-banks financials to see further declines in credit in the coming year or so, particularly as investment companies reduce their debt levels further.
The data also showed that most of the weakness in the month was in non-financial business credit.
"This fell by KD 247 million, with growth slowing to 7.3 percent y/y. The drop in credit was largely in loans for the purchase of securities (-KD 201 million), the real estate sector (-KD 46 million) and "other" sectors (-KD 56 million); some of these reversed large increases the month before. Trade, industry, construction and oil & gas all saw positive growth in July," said the report.
"Money supply growth eased in July as private deposits saw large seasonal declines. M2 was off by KD 769 million, as July coincided with Ramadan and the Eid holidays this year, slowing growth to 6.6 percent y/y. KD site deposits decreased by KD 520 million and foreign currency deposits were off by KD 250 million. Growth in the narrower measure of money supply, M1, also eased to 17.7 percent . Government deposits were also down by KD 141 million in July." The NBK report revealed that the average customer deposit rates on dinar time deposits remained mostly unchanged in July. "The average rate on the 12-month time deposits rose a basis point to 1.19 percent , while average rates on the 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month time deposits were unchanged at 0.59 percent , 0.78 percent , and 0.98 percent . KD interbank rates edged higher, with the 1-month KIBOR offer rate up by 2 points to reach 0.99 percent.