Domestic credit to the private sector increased by 5.2%, with the consumer and mortgage sectors maintaining the credit dynamic at the International Banking Center of Panama (CBI), according to the Banking Activity Report corresponding to April disclosed today.
According to this report, published by the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP), the sectors that drive this higher growth are associated with the products of people banking, especially in the personal loan sectors (9.9%) and mortgage (7.6%).
The increase in interim construction financing shows that to date, disbursements continue to be generated in the commercial construction and development projects of the residential building market.
By April, the industrial sector, on the other hand, contributed 525 million dollars to the increase in private loans compared to the same period last year, being the third activity with the highest contribution.
The granting of credit in different industrial sub-sectors such as steel and construction materials increased by 58%; food, beverages and tobacco 28%; and the production and generation of electricity by 25%.
The report also highlights that residential mortgage credit continues to be one of the loans that maintain a growing demand, with a growth of 7.6% for the end of April.
For the period covered by this report, the balance of mortgage loans granted totaled 16,329 million, with an expansion of 1,160 million compared to the same period last year, while consumer loans continued to grow at a sustained rate of 9.9%
One of the most dynamic consumer segments was the car loan-oriented segment, which grew 3.7% in April 2018 compared to the same month last year, as well as loans granted by credit card that showed significant figures by having a growth of 10.3%.
In terms of the quality of the CBI's portfolio, the Banking Activity Report for the month shows that defaulting is 3.3% of the total portfolio, which in its defaulter component represents 1.7% and the portfolio expired 1.6%
The CBI, which includes almost 90 general and international license banks, closed last April "with a total of assets of 118,666 million dollars," according to another report released by the SBP on July 13.
The profits of the International Banking Center of Panama totaled 1,797 million dollars at the end of 2017, with a "record" growth of 17.9% compared to the previous year, according to data from the Superintendency.
Panama's economy grew by 5.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, over 5% in the previous year, and is expected to do so this year at around 4.5%.