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Russia Bank Lowers Interest  on Loans
World Economy

Russia Bank Lowers Interest on Loans

 Russia’s top bank Sberbank said on Monday it had lowered the interest rates it charges on consumer loans to below the level they were at before an economic crisis and that it saw higher demand for such loans, Reuters reported. “In our opinion the economy in general is ready for a lowering of rates, since inflation has slowed and is continuing to slow,” Sberbank said in a statement. The bank, a dominant player in Russia with around a third of total banking assets, lowered rates on its main line of consumer loans by between 1.1 and 4.1 percentage points, it said. It said the main range of rates on its secured loans was now at 14.9-22.9% from 16.5-25.5% before. Meanwhile, Russian bank VTB made 0.6 billion rubles ($9.2 million) of net profit in the first quarter, it said, worse than analysts had forecast. Analysts had predicted VTB would earn 4.6 billion rubles in the first three months of the year.

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