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Peruvian bank lending rose 4.43% in 2016 as business outlook improved

Peruvian bank loans totaled about 235.37 billion soles as of December 2016, up 4.43% from a year earlier when adjusted for a constant exchange rate, figures released by local banking association Asbanc showed.

The main reason for the growth, which accelerated from a 3.62% growth rate in November, was higher corporate lending in a scenario of improved expectations for Peru's economic growth in 2017, Asbanc noted.

Loans denominated in the local currency rose 5.49% in December compared to the same month a year earlier, while lending operations in U.S. dollars rose by 2.23%.

However, the fact that lending in dollars rose 1.96% in December from the previous month, while local currency lending was nearly flat, meant that the percentage of total loans denominated in soles slipped in December compared to November, Asbanc pointed out.

As of December, local currency loans represented 68.15% of total loans, up 68 basis points from December 2015 but down 42 basis points compared to the previous month.

The figures are collected from the 16 commercial banks operating in Peru's financial system.

As of Jan. 17, US$1 was equivalent to 3.35 Peruvian soles.