According to the latest data released by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBK) on Monday, July 19, the largest number of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the country's banking system are concentrated in the construction sector, as well as in wholesale and retail trade.
The volume of NPLs in the construction sector reached €545 million by the end of March 2021 (total volume of loans issued was €1.8 billion), while NPLs in the wholesale and retail sector reached €502.4 million (total volume of loans €2.6 billion).
NPLs in the real estate sector cost €343.5 million, €207.7 in the transport sector and €148.5 million in the industrial sector.
Overdue household loans reached €2.7 billion in March 2021 (total volume - €11.6 billion). The amount of overdue loans to small and medium-sized businesses amounted to €2.2 billion (total volume - €14.9 billion).
The total volume of non-performing loans in the first quarter of 2021 increased by €19 million or 0.4% compared to the end of December 2020. The ratio of problem loans to total loans increased from 17.7% at the end of December 2020 to 17.9% at the end of March 2021.
As you may know, in accordance with the directive of the European Banking Authority, problem loans include restructured loans, which are considered as non-performing loans for at least one year.
It is worth noting that de facto non-performing loans are a persistent weakness in the country's banking sector, although it is predicted that the state of affairs will gradually improve. Red loans continue to pose a risk to the stability of the island's financial system and remain the main obstacle to strengthening the banking sector.