The Ukraine bank that keeps on growing
The Ukrainian banking system is represented by 178 credit and finance institutions, whose assets accounted for U.S. $722.6 billion as at July 1st 2008. Ukrainian banking is not homogeneous, and among such diversity, special attention is drawn to the banks aggressively aiming to increase their market share. That kind of strategy is vividly demonstrated by Ukrgasbank.
Over the last six months the bank’s net assets increased by 18%, the growth—typical across the system—being due to the boosted lending. According to the National Bank of Ukraine, overall loans issued by the Ukrainian banks in H1, 2008 increased by 21.4%, while Ukrgasbank’s loans portfolio grew by 28%. In the spate of the global credit squeeze, many Ukrainian banks have been suffering from a lack of funds required to at least keep up pace. Ukrgasbank, however, has taken advantage of its ability and mobility in resorting to domestic funding. It is this fact that guarantees stability in the present climate. Recently, Ukrgasbank has not only managed to preserve its retail lending market position—but also significantly strengthened it (the volume of retail loans increased 1.5 times in the last six months).
Despite the swift loan portfolio growth, the bank’s policy is characterized by a well balanced and conservative credit risk approach. As a result, it has one of the best loan book quality indicators in the market, with 4.5% LLP as a preventive buffer for its fast-growing portfolio.
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