Asbanc: Peru bank loans reach record levels in February

Bank loans in Peru reached record levels in February, according to the country’s private banking association Asbanc, reported the  state-run news agency Andina.

According to Asbanc, bank loans in Peru’s national currency, the Nuevo Sol, totalled more than 44.7 billion last month, up 1.8 percent, or 824 million soles, from January 2010 and 14.37 percent, or 5.6 billion soles, from the same month last year.

Loans in dollars grew for the fifth month in a row and reached a record total at almost $17 billion. Dollar loans were up less than 1 percent from last month, or $135 million, and 3.2 percent from February 2009, or $530 million.

Combined sol and dollar loans were up by 1.31 percent over last January, the banking association reported. It added that the default rate in February was 1.67 percent.

Asbanc said credit offered by Peruvian banks increased during the international financial crisis and while the country’s economy slowed down last year. It said this reflects a sound financial system with strong regulations and monetary policy.

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