The first two months of 2016 saw a monthly rise in corporate lending, but annually the trend of decline which began in May 2012 continued, the latest Croatian National Bank (HNB) figures show.
Data from the central bank show that working capital and investment loans to non-financial companies reached HRK 68.7 billion at the end of February 2016.
Compared with January 2016, corporate lending increased by HRK 1.1 billion or 1.7%, and compared with February 2015, it dropped by more than HRK 3 billion or 4.3%, analysts at Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) said in their comment on Thursday.
The marked monthly increase in February was the result of borrowing by a large company, according to the HNB.
Corporate deleveraging in relation to domestic banks is happening simultaneously with increased borrowing on foreign markets. Expected monetary easing measures by the European Central Bank could further boost substitution of domestic loans with more favourable ones available on highly liquid foreign financial markets, RBA analysts concluded.