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December 1, 2021updated 02 Dec 2021 12:28am

Emerging Europe lessors can expect uneven recovery in 2022: Fitch

By Alejandro Gonzalez

The outlook for finance and leasing companies across emerging Europe is neutral for 2022, according to a report by Fitch Ratings. The agency said the macroeconomic recovery in most markets facilitates growth and underpins asset quality and profitability against pressures amid the aftermath of the pandemic.

Fitch, however, expects the Turkish leasing sector’s asset quality to be pressured by the recent Turkish lira devaluation. “The same factor will drive portfolio growth in nominal terms but it expects lessors to curb risk appetite, particularly in foreign currency leasing. Funding from parent banks would support the companies’ liquidity positions if needed,” Fitch said.

Turkish factoring companies operate short-term and mostly lira-denominated balance sheets and are therefore less exposed to the pressure on the currency. This helps to manage the cost of risk despite the low credit quality of counterparties. Funding scarcity will restrict growth and constrain profitability.

In Russia, Fitch expects growth in rolling stock leasing and equipment leasing amid stagnation in the aviation and retail segments. “We expect asset quality to remain strong despite an increase in the cost of risk as portfolios season. An increase in the cost of funding will additionally stretch profitability,” Fitch reported. 

Fitch also expects continuing growth for Kazakh leasing and microfinance companies. “This will support currently strong profitability and underpin nominal asset quality metrics despite inherently high credit risk,” Fitch said. 

Car lessors

Higher second-hand car prices will support the performances of car lessors and finance companies in emerging Europe in 1H 2022, “but we do not expect a sustained shift. Strong demand will help business origination for car lessors and used car financing, while supply chain disruptions will weigh on new car financing,” Fitch said. 

“We expect the microfinance sector in Georgia to benefit from the macroeconomic recovery and maintain business model resilience despite pressure on interest margins and the phasing-out of government support,” Fitch reported

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