An article in Nacion.com reports that "Business are facing real interest rates ranging from 11% to 13%", with "real rates" defined as "the nominal amount, announced or offered by entities, minus inflation."
This situation particularly affects SMEs who not only pay the highest interest rates on the scale, but whose financing is the fourth largest factor in terms of affecting their competitiveness, whereas for large companies the cost of financing is not regarded as an important factor.
Max Soto, director of the Research Institute in the Economic Sciences at the University of Costa Rica, points out the reasons have led to this situation of the high cost of borrowing for businesses:
"One, is that the private sector is demanding more resources to produce as well as the government which needs to cover its excess in expenses compared to income, while the Central Bank is maintaining a restrictive policy, with the aim of keeping inflation low and stable. Second, liquidity (the resources available in the short term) in colones has decreased its growth rate since October 2011, and third, public banks, in particular the Banco de Costa Rica, have maintained a very aggressive policy of credit expansion, funded, fundamentally , with term deposits which is putting upwards pressure on passive (savings) rates. "
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Interest rates in colones offered by State banks for consumer, livestock and industrial loans are the rates that have gone up the most in the last four months.
Interest rates in colones for "others", which include consumer loans, went from 12.5% on April 17 - when they were at their lowest - to 16.8% on August 5; an increase of 4.3 percentage points, according to the average rates published by the Central Bank.
BANADESA signed an agreement with businessmen to provide financial support to members of the chambers of commerce.
The loans will have an annual interest rate of 7%, a two-year grace period and a minimum of $2600.
According to the article in tiempo.hn, the agreement was signed by "the Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecamaras), the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the National Bank for Agricultural Development (BANADESA), with the aim of giving financial support to members of the chambers of commerce at national level in the face of the minimum wage increase."
Producers Associations in El Salvador expressed concerns about the tightening of credit policies.
The Corporation of Exporters of El Salvador (Coexport) has detected more restrictions for new credit and for refinancing. "The processes are stricter, especially for new clients and those who are in default," said Silvia Cuellar, executive director of Coexport.
Ficohsa Bank announced that it will offer loans for projects at a rate of 10% with 7 year terms and a 3 year grace period.
The funds are coming from credit lines with BANHPROVI (Honduran Production and Housing Bank), and are oriented toward the growth of the country’s productive sector.