New Era (Windhoek)

3 August 2012

Africa: Namibians Cautious About Debt

Windhoek — Namibians raked up a N$219 million debt bill in June, bringing the total of money borrowed by individuals over the last 12 month to N$3.6 billion.

Nearly N$3 billion is in mortgage advances, while instalment sales are valued at N$1.1 billion. Other loans and advances are N$619 million and overdrafts reflect N$1 million repayment.

The figures are compiled from the latest monthly statistics on money and banking of the Bank of Namibia. According to the Bank of Namibia N$499 million in credit was extended to the private sector in June 2012, a 1.1 percent month on month increase, with total credit outstanding at N$47.8 billion.

Annual growth in private sector credit extension slowed to 12.3 percent from 12.9 percent in May and 13.6 percent in April.

Of the N$499 million in debt issued in June, N$315 million was extended to the corporate sector, N$219 million to individuals, while the non-resident private sector contracted a N$35 million debt during the month and as a result individuals' portion of total credit outstanding declined to 62.9 percent.

Mortgage advances and overdrafts were the most prominent during the month, increasing N$273 million and N$187 million, respectively. Other loans and advances declined N$122 million in June.

Of the N$5.2 billion in credit extended to the Namibian private sector in the last 12 months, N$1.6 billion went to the corporate sector.

Annual growth in corporate credit slowed to 10.3 percent in June from 12.2 percent in May and 13.6 percent in April.

On the other hand growth in credit extended to individuals remained fairly stable at the 13.4 percent level. All categories, except for the instalment category, showed an ease in the annual growth rate for the third consecutive month, with mortgage advances dipping to 13.6 percent from 14 percent and 15.5 percent, other loans and advances easing to 12.4 percent from 13.9 percent and 18.3 percent and overdrafts being unchanged compared to 12 months ago. Annual growth in instalment sales remained at the 18 percent level.

Namibia's foreign reserves increased by N$485 million to N$14.4 billion and are 31.2 percent higher year on year, with the increase attributed to government inflows.

The government's cash balance remained fairly stable during the month, increasing by N$57.9 million to N$6.7 billion, 37.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Total domestic debt for Namibia increased slightly to N$17.53 billion in June from N$17.38 million in May.

The annual growth rate decelerated significantly from 45.6 percent in May to 38.9 percent in June with the high base starting to take effect. Of the total debt, 46 percent was longer than 12 months, while 54 percent was shorter-term debt.

The ratio of domestic government debt to GDP increased slightly in June to 17.7 percent from 17.6 percent before.

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