Lending to SMEs rises to €1.1 billion in first half of 2014

Lending to SMEs rose slightly during the first six months of 2014, according to new figures published by the Central Bank.

The data show lending to SMEs amounted to €1.1 billion, up from €0.9 billion for the same period a year earlier.

During the second quarter of 2014, credit advanced to non-financial, non-proerty related enterprises of all sizes was down 1.9 per cent during the second quarter with lending to SMEs in this category falling by 1.5 per cent to €22.6 billion. In annual terms this is equivalent to a 4.6 per cent decline in credit, as against a 5.8 per cent fall last year.

Property-related lending to all enterprises was 3.9 per cent lower in the second quarter with lending to SMEs down 4.3 per cent or €1.3 billion. Repayments exceeded drawdowns for this sector by the largest amount recorded since 2009.

Irish SME’s accounted for 38 per cent of all lendingt advanced to businesses by credit institutions during the months April to June. The outstanding amount of lending offered to SMEs totalled €61.4 billion, a 2.7 per cent decrease on the previous quarter and down 6.2 per cent on the year till the end of June.

A total of €540 million was drawn-down in new loans to SMEs in the non-property, non-financial sectors during the second quarter. This represents a 31 per cent increase when compared with gross credit advanced for the same three-month period a year earlier.

The Central Bank said the agriculture sector continued to constitute the largest share of new SME lending during the quarter at €141 million, followed by wholesale/retail trade and repairs at €78 million.

Deposits from non-financial Irish resident private-sector enterprises rose by 7.9 per cent to stand at €41.7 billion during the months from April to June. In annual terms, deposits from such enterprises increased by 14.6 per cent in the year to the end of June, which compares to 4.8 per cent for the same period a year earlier.


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