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Moldova’s banking sector: Facts & Figures

Updated September 2018 – For earlier editions of Facts & Figures click here

The analysis of the economic indicators for the year 2017 shows that the economic situation in the Republic of Moldova continued an upward trend, and the Moldovan economy was showing signs of revival.

Economic growth is characterised by the growth of the Gross Domestic Product, which amounted to €7,4 billions, and increased by 4.5% compared to 2016. The initial projected increase of 6% did not materialise due to several factors, including the adverse weather conditions in the spring of 2017, which undermined agricultural production and business uncertainty, which stifled the relaunch of lending.

The volume of industrial production increased by 6.6% and the total agricultural production in households of all categories grew by 8.6% compared to 2016. Investment activity also increased (+2.4%).

The average inflation rate for the year 2017 amounted to 6.6% and remained within a relatively stable range.

As far as the development of foreign trade is concerned, in 2017, Moldova managed to increase exports by 18.6%. Thus, exports of goods made in 2017 amounted to $2.4 billion, $0.4 billion more than in 2016, and imports amounted to $4.8 billion, up by $0,8 billion.

Exports of Moldovan products to the EU market in 2017 totalled $1.59 billion, accounting for 66% of total Moldovan exports, up by 19.9% compared to the same period in 2016. At the same time imports from the European Union reached $2.39 billion, representing 49% of the total imports in the Republic of Moldova.

The monetary policy promoted by the National Bank of Moldova during 2017 was influenced by the rise in inflationary pressures generated largely by the changes in fiscal policy, adjusting regulated prices to the new market realities, and the major excess of liquidity in the economy.

The base rate set by the Moldovan National Bank dropped from 9% in the first half of 2017 to 6.5%. In this respect, the interest rate on newly granted loans decreased from 11.5% to 9.58%. The required reserves ratio of the attracted funds in national currency was increased to 40% and the reserve ratio in foreign currency was maintained at 14%.

As of December 31, 2017, eleven banks were licensed by the National Bank of Moldova (NBM) to operate in the Republic of Moldova, including four branches of banks and foreign financial groups.

In the registered capital of licensed banks in Moldova, the share of foreign investments is 81%, and the share of domestic investments is 19%. The state does not hold shares in the capital of the banks.

Among the foreign investors participating in the formation of the capital of the banks of the Republic of Moldova are the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, banks from Italy, France and Romania, as well as corporate investors from Germany, Austria, the UK, Ukraine, Cyprus, Russia, the US, The Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. Of the total number of banks, four banks have full foreign investment capital, two of which are branches of foreign banks, and seven banks have foreign and domestic capital.

Contributor: Elisaveta Foca info@abm.md

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