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The banking sector has shown some signs of post-crisis revival, Bulgarian-language media reports said on May 26. While corporate and consumer lending were still flat, the mortgage sector was registering modest growth. Analysts believe that mortgage loan interest rates will return to their pre-crisis levels. Bulgarian National Bank statistics from 2008 say that average interest rates were 8.83 per cent for euro-denominated mortgages and 7.78per cent for mortgages in leva. In March 2011, aver-age interest rates were 8.33 per cent and 8.06 per cent, respectively. Banks are still cautious and are scrapping some taxes and fees as a way to attract clients. Comparison among five mortgage offers from different banks revealed that annual percentage of rate (APR) is between 9.14 per cent (UniCredit Bulbank and UBB) and 8.40% (DSK Bank). Some have APR as low as six per cent but for a limited period of time, after that a floating interest rate is introduced. Six banks have introduced changes in their offers.

BNB data showed close to no activity in the consumer loans market. APR there was 13.58 per cent at the end of March and 13.52 per cent at the end of January.

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Title Annotation:ECONOMY BRIEFS
Publication:The Sofia Echo (Sofia, Bulgaria)
Date:May 27, 2011
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