A senior banking official expected that the Russian economy will grow in the year 2021 by 3% – 3.5%, after its decline in the year 2020 due to the emerging Corona virus crisis and the isolation measures that accompanied it.
Mikhail Zadornov, director of “Utkretia” Bank, one of the private banks operating in Russia, said in an interview with RT that Russia’s GDP may rise this year by 3% – 3.5%, and one of the main engines in the recovery period and overcoming the repercussions of the Corona pandemic will be The banking sector.
The senior banking expert also ruled out that the Russian Central Bank would raise the main interest rates during the current year, and said, “We hope that in the near future the rate will remain at its current level (4.25%) and will not reach 5% -6%.”
Digitization and government support programs helped the Russian banking sector:
The official believes that the performance of the banking sector in Russia in 2020 was better than other economic sectors, thanks to digitization and support programs, which the Russian government provided to overcome the Corona crisis.
During the past year, the Russian government launched several programs to support the economic sectors affected by the pandemic, including a housing loan program with easy terms and benefits.
And about why the Russian banking sector recorded a profit of 1.6 trillion rubles in 2020, in contrast to other economic sectors, Zadornov said that the work of banks in Russia did not stop during the past year. For example, the employees of “Utkretia” Bank were working from their home, meaning that all the bank’s departments It was continuing to operate normally, unlike hotels and restaurants that were greatly affected by the isolation measures.
In addition, the banking sector in Russia did not witness a state of panic due to Corona, as deposits were not withdrawn, for example, although borrowing declined significantly, but demand continued for the rest of banking services.
Replacing local investors with foreign investors … a boon for the Moscow Stock Exchange:
Zadornov said, “The Russians’ turnout to the stock exchange opened new opportunities for the financial system. In the past, the Russian stock market was largely dependent on foreign investors, who used to make up 60% – 70% of the Moscow Stock Exchange, so when they left it due to sanctions and external factors.” Another, the value of Russian assets decreased and this coincided with the demand of local investors, so replacing local investors with foreigners is a blessing. “
Zadornov gave advice to stock market beginners, and said: “For people, buying securities, along with deposits and real estate, is a source of savings, but part of the money must be invested in securities and not be afraid of losing it and not rush to make decisions, that is, everything must be thoughtful.”
Regarding the future of the Russian ruble, the director of the Utkretia Bank said, “The Russian currency will rise unless there are risks associated with the sanctions, as the price of a barrel of oil pushes the ruble to become stronger, but the assets and currency in Russia are under pressure due to expectations with the purpose of some restrictions on Moscow.” .