Five Croatian saving societies concluded over 100,000 new savings contracts worth about six billion kuna in the first 9 months of 2009, which is a growth of almost 10% over the same period last year.
Most new contracts were concluded by Prva stambena stedionica. Also, very good results have enabled savings banks in Croatia to achieve great growth in revenues and profits. Thus, their total gross profit is more than 40 million, an increase of over 250% compared to 17 million from the previous year. The biggest gain was made by Prva stambena stedionica. The only minus was recorded in operations of the Raiffeisen housing savings. Total assets of Croatian saving societies at the end of September amounted to over 6 billion kunas, or about 5% less than in 2008. HPB residential and Wüstenrot are the only ones that recorded growth, while others recorded a decline in value of assets. Banks and savings banks also have a high capital adequacy ratio of 15%.
We have good news in the banking market too! From 1st of December 2009 Zagreb Bank returned the offer of housing loans for young people, designed for customers under 40 years of age for a period of up to 25 years. In relation to the standard offer, the interest rate is lower by 0.5% and it is 7% linked to foreign currency in € with a reduced ratio of loan amount and collateral. So loans can be approved with a minimum participation of 10% without guarantors and without deposits. Insurance instruments such as life insurance, cash or funds deposit may also be paid from the loan. The fee for approving the loan is 1% for purchases and 2% for reconstruction of a property. All beneficiaries of ZABA housing loans in Croatia can get large discounts for equipment and renovation of the property. CEO of Zagreb Bank said that such changes are possible because of the cheaper sources of financing in the international market and we can expect a further decline in interest rates in Croatia. Larger and more favorable credit offers can help sales of new apartments, so more and more investors are realizing that they must adjust their prices to the emerging market conditions.