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Peru US-dollar lending sinks in April

Loans to the private sector in Peru denominated in U.S. dollars fell to 38.7% in April, down from 40.3% in the same month in 2018, according to figures from Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.

Credit to individuals declined to 10.0% in April 2019 from 11.7% a year ago with notable decreases in the vehicle and mortgage segments, the central bank said. Lending to small and medium-sized enterprises fell to 6.0%. Total credit in dollars shrank to 27.5% from 29.5% the year prior.

The growth of deposits and loans in Peruvian soles has accelerated in recent quarters as economic conditions have favored a shift away from the U.S.-dollar transactions that once dominated the financial space there.

Both the central bank and financial superintendency SBS have given regulatory incentives for financing in soles, through higher reserve requirements for banks that lend in U.S. dollars and consumer demand for sol-denominated credit to hedge against devaluation of the local currency.