Total credit extended to the private sector increased by N$623.4 million or 0.71% m/m in August, bringing the cumulative credit outstanding to N$88.5 billion. On a year on year basis, credit extended to the private sector rose by 6.35% in August, compared to growth of 6.82% in July. Growth in total credit extended to the private sector continued to fall on a rolling 12-month basis as N$5.2 billion worth of credit has been extended over the last 12 months, down from N$8.1 billion in the prior 12-month period. N$2.08 billion of this cumulative issuance was issued to corporates and N$3.08 billion to individuals, while claims on non-resident private sector credit increased by N$120.50 million.
Credit extension to households
Credit extended to individuals slowed down dramatically in August, growing by only 6.38% y/y compared to 8.35% in July, while registering a contraction of 0.48% m/m. Which is also the biggest decrease in credit extension on a month-on-month basis, since a 1.57% contraction in January 2010. Installment credit contracted by 0.03% m/m and 2.0% y/y. Given that vehicle purchases are largely financed through installment credit, the subdued level of growth in vehicle sales further highlights waning consumer confidence and serves as testament to the decelerated growth in installment credit. The effects of the amendments to the Credit Agreement Act are still being felt 5 months after implementation. The value of mortgage loans extended to individuals contracted 0.9% m/m while increasing 6.5% y/y. Overdraft facilities extended to individuals slowed by 2.1% m/m and registered an increase of 13.2% y/y. Other loans and advances recorded growth of 2.6% m/m and 18% y/y.
Credit extension to corporates
Credit extension to corporates increased 2.1% m/m in August compared to the 0.4% rise registered in July. Year on year credit extension rose 6.0%, up from the 5.0% growth recorded in July. Instalment credit extended to corporates was unchanged for August. Year on year installment credit extended to corporates has contracted by 4.6%. Mortgage loans extended to corporates increased by 11.8% y/y and 4.6% m/m. Overdraft facilities extended to corporates rose 1.2% m/m and 18.2% y/y.
Banking Sector Liquidity
The average monthly liquidity position of commercial banks improved to N$3.9 billion in August after averaging above N$2.9 billion during July. The overall liquidity position has improved markedly with the last 3 months averaging an overall position of over N$3 billion. This follows government confirming the settlement of all outstanding invoices by the end of August.
Reserves and money supply
Foreign reserves contracted by N$3.05 billion to N$30.6 billion at the end of August from N$33.6 billion in July. According to the Bank of Namibia the decrease in the level of reserves emanated from net commercial purchases of foreign currency and exchange rate valuation. In addition to government payments, considering that government has likely settled all outstanding invoices through drawing down on the loan facility afforded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Private sector credit extension continues its downward trend with persistent subdued growth. A bit of reprieve was expected when the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) sat for its September MPC meeting, with many anticipating a rate cut. However, to the markets surprise, this was not to be as the SARB kept rates unchanged, citing long-term risks to the inflation, which is currently within the SARB’s target band at 4.6%. The Bank of Namibia, as a result of its mandate to maintain the currency peg with the South African rand, is set to follow suit and leave rates unchanged as well. Further rate cuts were expected to ease the pressures faced by the consumer, this ever so evident in the contraction on all spheres of lending on a m/m basis for individuals.