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Lithuanian Credit Resume to Growth on Lending to Businesses

Lithuanian credit portfolios returned to growth in the second quarter, after shrinking in the previous six months, as lending to businesses increased.

Credit grew 1 percent, or 0.5 billion litai ($180 million), in the April-June period from the first quarter, the central bank in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, said in a statement on its website today. Lending grew 0.4 percent through the first six months of this year, it said.

Lithuania’s banking system, which is majority owned by Swedish lenders such as SEB AB and Swedbank AB, is raising lending in the Baltic region after suffering losses in 2009 when the region suffered the world’s steepest recession. Increased lending is adding momentum to the region’s economic growth, helping outpace most of the rest of the European Union.

Lithuania’s banking industry’s profit fell 42 percent in the first half from last year on provisions and shrinking revenue from interest, the central bank said. Twelve of a total of 16 Lithuanian banks reported profit this year, it said.

Bank deposits grew 3.8 percent in the second quarter from the previous three months, it said.

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