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Paraguay bank lending flat, though housing loans rise 11.7%

Total lending from Paraguay's banking sector in December 2016 was little changed year over year, data from Paraguay's central bank showed, as stronger housing lending offset a decline in agricultural loans.

Total lending for the month came to 70.66 billion Paraguayan guaraníes, little changed from 70.63 billion guaraníes in the year-ago period.

Despite the flat total result, housing loans rose 11.7% year over year to 2.49 billion guaraníes, which helped offset a 13.7% decline in lending to the agricultural sector, which, at 13.55 billion guaraníes, is among the largest lending segments in the country.

Across the banking sector, the total delinquency rate stood at 2.80% at the end of 2016, down from 3.21% a month earlier but up slightly from 2.47% at year-end 2015.

As of Jan. 31, US$1 was worth 5,817.50 Paraguayan guaraníes.