SberIndex reviews 2021 results
This year’s key challenge has been a global transition to inflation growth, which drove an increase in interest rates by central banks worldwide. Meanwhile, SberIndex analysts claim that Russian markets generally seem to believe the CBR will reverse the inflation trend by as soon as the second half of 2022 and force rates to go down.
Despite the growth in deposit rates that followed the increase in the key rate, the interest of retail investors in the stock markets continued to grow. Individuals prefer stocks and bonds of Russian issuers, prioritizing shares.
By late 2021, the labor market in Russia has almost recovered from the pandemic-driven losses. Aggregate payrolls for the whole year will be about RUB 29.3 tn due to the rapid revival of hiring and active indexation of wages by businesses.
The mortgage lending market emerged as the main beneficiary of the decline in key rates in 2020 and the introduction of the mortgage subsidy program on the primary market since April 2020. Another mortgage record – and not the last one – is expected at the end of 2021 when approximately RUB 5.5 tn will have been taken out in home loans, a quarter more than in 2020 when the metric reached an all-time high as well.
According to SberIndex estimates, the net profit of Russian banks will reach a record of RUB 2.5 tn in 12M 2021. Profit growth will in many ways be driven by the fact that many banks have ceased holding bigger reserves built in the crisis-laden 2020. An improved economic situation spurred the growth of the loan portfolio, which is also the cause of the high revenues of Russian banks in the ongoing year. Furthermore, the growth of lending and economic activity have contributed to a decrease in NPLs.
An unexpected result of the COVID-19 crisis is that the demand is growing too fast amid a new cost structure. The consumer is still coping with rising prices against the background of high wage indexation speed. However, this situation is unstable since inflation creates risks of weaker dynamics in real terms.
Consumers are not returning to the previous structure of spending even with no significant restrictions in place. Apparently, it will require a complete victory over COVID-19 or its transformation into an endemic disease to restore the structure of demand.
The share of non-cash transactions continues to grow among citizens, but a few years later it may reach its limit. Online sales, especially facilitated through ecosystems, have emerged as an important driver of non-cash payments. There are restraining factors too: the gray economy and older generations being used to cash.
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