ING to Boost Commercial Loans 30% in Turkey on Demand

ING Bank AS, the Turkish unit of Amsterdam-based ING Groep NV, is seeking to boost commercial loans by 30 percent this year and personal loans by 50 percent as demand increases from mid-tier companies and consumers.

“Small-and-medium-sized businesses are the driving factor behind Turkey’s economic growth,” Erdogan Yilmaz, the Turkish bank’s executive vice president for cash management and trade finance, said in an interview. “It’s a very important area of competition for Turkish banks and will be our focus in 2013.”

Turkish banks’ loans climbed 19.5 percent in the year to April 12, with credit to small and medium sized businesses rising by 21 percent on an annual basis in 2012, according to banking regulator data. The Turkish economy expanded 2.2 percent last year, and will probably grow 4 percent this year, according to the average estimate of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

ING Turkey’s deposits rose 24 percent in 2012, above the industry average of 12 percent. Depositors increased by 600,000 after the lender started a fixed-term deposit account in Jan. 2011 that provides flexibility on withdrawals.

The bank’s profits tripled on an annual basis to 260 million liras ($145 million) last year, while assets grew 16.8 percent to 27 billion liras. ING Turkey is targeting deposit growth of 26 percent in 2013 amid rising competition, Yilmaz said.

“There are almost no new deposits being created in Turkey, with the low savings rate,” Yilmaz said in Istanbul. “Banks are fighting to steal customers from each other.”

Turkey’s gross national savings dropped to 12 percent of gross domestic product last year, according to International Monetary Fund data. That compares with 29 percent for Russia, 16 percent for Poland and 20 percent for Hungary, IMF data show.

(Corrects GDP growth figure in third paragraph.)
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