ALBANIA. Gert Peshkatari General Manager Albanian Factoring Services (AFS) SH.A INTRODUCTION

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1 INTRODUCTION The factoring of accounts receivables in Albania is regulated by law No 9630, dated 30 October 2006 regarding factoring. The Bank of Albania is the supervisory authority that includes factoring activities and which in 2012 recorded a continuing upward trend for licence applications by non-bank financial institutions. It is worth noting that 2010 marked the entry into the market of the first nonbank financial institution offering factoring. Specifically it was the Albanian Factoring Services sh.a. (AFS) which applied for and was granted a licence by the Bank of Albania for operating as a non-bank, financial institution engaged in factoring. Gert Peshkatari General Manager Albanian Factoring Services (AFS) SH.A AFS is the first and only licensed company that facilitates international factoring. 8.00% 7.54% Annual Real GDP Growth Rates 7.00% 6.00% 5.00% 4.00% 3.00% 3.31% 3.77% 3.08% 2.00% 1.50% 1.00% 0.00% These days liquidity seems to be the main driver that forces businesses to either succeed or fail. Commercial banks have tightened their credit lines as well as other forms of credit for companies as a result of the economic environment in both the local market and in the region. Risk seems to be the most common word used in the financial sector. In such an environment we are certain that most businesses are finding it very difficult to access the necessary financial means in order to improve their cash flow and further develop business plans. This is exactly where the factor comes into play. Being extremely flexible and efficient when evaluating local companies the factor can offer the necessary financial means in a very short period of time. Our conditions are among the most favourable in the financial market and we 1

2 guarantee that factoring will ease the way our clients do business and will definitely reduce costs. INDUSTRY ENVIRONMENT The financial system and the banking sector s situation and performance remained stable throughout the period. Both the factoring and the financial services sectors operated within a more challenging environment, characterised by slow domestic and foreign economic growth, reduced public financial stimulus, slower investments and public consumption, decreased bank lending rates and quality, as well as imposed structural changes in the inter-bank liquidity market. However the factoring market generated income and presented good capitalisation and liquidity indicators over the period. The direct impact of market risks on the factoring sector was moderate, but the indirect impact arising from the weak exposure of businesses was significant, suggesting the need for prudential monitoring by the factoring companies. The deterioration in credit quality represents the main concern affecting the stability of the sector s financial indicators. As Albanian and foreign economic developments do not reveal any improvements in business expectations, credit quality improvement may not occur in the short-term and then only through the smooth operation of the financial institutions. The financial institutions should continue improving credit monitoring to: strengthen respective structures for assessing both a customer s creditworthiness and for collection rates; proactively create provisions to hedge against credit risk; recognise the financial effect of losses, write them off from the balance-sheet in a timely manner and execute guarantees for recourse services. If these operations are performed correctly and professionally, they will provide the financial sector with resources to better support financing in the periods ahead. Addressing non-performing loans is important to the financing pace and future contribution of the financial system to Albania s economic development. In 2012 the economy contracted by 0.2 per cent year-onyear and 1.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter. The industrial and construction sectors saw a significant deepening in their annual contraction, 19.3 per cent and 17.6 per cent respectively. Postal services, telecommunications and transport declined as well. Other services and trade continued to contribute positively to economic growth by 11.1 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively. Agriculture grew four per cent at the beginning of 2011 and slowed to 1.6 per cent at the end of Negative developments in the Eurozone and in our own region continue to impact negatively on Albania s economy. The weakening of economic activity in Europe will continue to provide an adverse impact on exports, while lower inflationary pressures may contribute to lower import prices. 2% 2% 3% Main Partners; Import Year % 3% 4% 6% 6% 6% 9% 32% Italy Greece China Germany Turkey Serbia Switzerland Russian Federation Spain France Others Values of Imports in Euros (millions) consist of the following: Year 2012 by months + Values of Imports ( m) 2

3 Structure of Imports by EU/Non-EU Countries: Import Volume EU/non EU Year 2012 loans, concentrating more in medium-term loans. Small enterprises reduced their share of long- and medium-term loans, increasing the share of long-term loans. Mediumsized enterprises focused mainly on short-term loans. Structure of Exports by EU/Non-EU Countries: 37.80% Export Volume EU / non EU Year % 24.50% Non EU EU 75.50% Values of Exports in Euros (millions) consist in the following: Non EU EU Year 2012 by months + Values of Exports ( m) In 2012, business credit growth rates slowed down persistently. In June lending to businesses expanded by 11.9 per cent year-on-year, against 16.6 per cent in December and 14.3 per cent 12 months earlier. By business category, small enterprises loans surged, whereas medium-sized enterprises loans decelerated. Large enterprises loans slowed down slightly, thus reducing significantly the share of long-term and short-term By maturity term, during the period under review, shortterm loans contributed positively by about Albanian LeK (ALL) four billion (EUR28.3 million - up two per cent) to the growth of loans, while long-term loans contributed by about ALL6.8 billion (EUR48.1 million - up 2.7 per cent). On the other hand, medium-term loans fell by ALL five billion (EUR35.3 million), or 4.4 per cent. By sectors of economy, loans were mainly extended to trade, construction, industry and production of electrical energy, while lending to other sectors recorded modest growth. In relative terms, during the period under review lending to the education sector, extractive industry and hotels increased by about 22 per cent, 22 per cent and 12.3 per cent respectively due to seasonal effect. Lending to the agricultural sector contracted by ALL0.7 billion (EUR4.9 million) or 11.8 per cent. By purpose of use, lending to businesses was mainly oriented towards the purchase of equipment. Overdrafts continue to dominate and their size remains above the five-year average, despite showing a slight downward tendency. No structural changes are noted in lending to households, with real estate investment loans having the major share. 3

4 In 2012 the distribution of new loans to businesses by purpose of use shows that new loans shifted towards working capital loans. MARKET PERFORMANCE AND SUPPLY Non-bank financial institutions are licensed and supervised by the Bank of Albania. Factoring companies are considered as non-bank financial institutions and this sector continues to share a small weight in the total financial system. The total non-bank financial sector s assets account for about 6.1 per cent of the financial system, higher than the 5.3 per cent recorded at end This increase is the result of new entrants into the factoring market during the period under review. At the end of the period, non-bank financial sector s activity as a percentage of GDP was 5.6 per cent. Lending activity is the main share of business transacted within the non-bank financial institutions, accounting for 60 per cent of total assets. Despite recording positive growth rates, the loan portfolio has maintained a downward trend since At the end of the period, the financing portfolio as a percentage of GDP was 43.5 per cent. Funds outstanding maintained sluggish growth rates due to the weak demand for loans and tight lending standards. 25% Market Share by Service 2012 Domestic Factoring 75% International Factoring Factoring has been fully operational for almost one and a half years and the portfolio at the present time is made up as follows: domestic factoring 75 per cent and international factoring 25 per cent. The aim is to expand activity internationally by offering export and import factoring, and in the near future to become members of both Factors Chain International and the International Factors group. Interest Rates on New Financings During 2012 H1, interest rates on new loans denominated in the three major currencies dropped slightly. Interest rates on new Albanian Lek loans showed negligible fluctuation. Less favourable lending standards on new business loans were applied to overdrafts. Average interest rates on new overdrafts increased by about 0.45 percentage points to per cent. Over the same stated period, the average interest rate on new USD loans dropped to 6.88 per cent, about 1.01 percentage points lower than in 2011 H2. This fact favoured new overdrafts, with the average interest rate dropping by about 2.11 percentage points to 6.31 per cent. The downward trend of the interest rate on new USD loans may have contributed to a higher demand for this type of loan. During the same period the average interest rate on Euro loans dropped by about 0.25 percentage points to 7.25 per cent. This drop may have been driven by the performance of average Euribor rates in the international markets, which dropped by about 0.6 percentage points over the period under review. The correlation between new loans by sectors of the economy and the respective interest rate is assessed through the analysis of the respective correlation. Concerning the business sector, there is a negative correlation coefficient during the entire period reflecting the indirect correlation between new loans and the interest rate. However the rising trend of this correlation from June 2011 for new working capital and real estate investment loans is a reflection of the banks tendencies to reduce lending for these purposes and the increase in the respective interest rates. The downward trend in the correlation coefficient for overdrafts is a result of the banks tendencies to reduce lending for overdraft purposes and also its cost. Lending for equipment purchase has also declined; however its interest rate continues to maintain a rising trend. Correlation between New Financings and Portfolio Quality As at the end of 2012 the performance of new loans reflected the banks tendencies to support businesses with 4

5 lending at a time when lending to households shrank. Out of the total of new business loans, 37.3 per cent was extended to trade, repair of vehicles and household appliances; 16.3 per cent to the construction sector; and 6.7 per cent to the processing industry. We can assume that international factoring will grow in view of Albania s export strength and this creates huge potential. On the other side, the domestic market also offers considerable potential if we continue to position factoring as an alternative to bank credit or as a supplement to financing by banks. With regard to clients, over half of the domestic purchased receivables outstanding on 31 December 2010 were located in the Albanian capital, and the main economic sector using factoring continued to be private enterprises. The main industry sectors for factoring were manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, energy and service providers, In terms of debtors, the public sector accounts for an important part of the domestic purchased receivables outstanding on 31 December, but this is still far from the potential for this sector. Main factoring products offered consist of: 1. Full factoring 2. Invoice discounting 3. Non-recourse factoring 4. Reverse factoring 5. Accounts Receivables Management etc. FUTURE TRENDS In implementing their strategies, factoring companies are seeking to provide additional financial activities, new products and services. Applications for approval of additional activities and other factoring products are based on the Bank of Albania s legal provisions and regulations. The number of Albanian companies using factoring has significantly increased over the past year. Most Albanian firms are small or medium size enterprises, family owned, with a high reliance on trade credit and debt and an intensive use of financial leverage, mainly in the form of short-term loans by banks. Changes to the legislative and regulatory framework led to a significant and progressive adjustment in the factoring supply. The financial system in Albania is subject to very extensive regulation which covers many aspects of the sector, that is prudential supervision, anti-money laundering regulations, transparency of bank-customer relations etc. The ongoing changes in Albanian regulation for financial companies, especially with regard to requirements that must be fulfilled in order to offer financial services, may lead to significant changes in the supply structure in the future. 5

6 Factoring Products and Services Produkte Factoring dhe Shërbimet During 2012 the factoring business that finances small and medium enterprises has shown significant growth rates. According to data provided by local operators, the percentage increase compared with the previous year is more than 60 per cent. Factoring, as one of the newest financial services in the market and being provided by non-bank financial institutions, started operations only 3-4 years ago. Until 2012 there were only two companies operating in the market but the number is increasing this year. According to specific needs, a factoring company can offer services including domestic recourse factoring, domestic non-recourse factoring, import-export international factoring, accounts receivable management etc. The Albanian factoring market is mainly concentrated in domestic recourse factoring and is valued at approximately Euro nine million versus Euro 3-4 million in Biznesi i faktoringut që financon faturat e bizneseve kryesisht të vogla dhe të mesme, ka regjistruar shifra të larta rritjeje gjatë Sipas të dhënave nga operatorët vendas, rritja në raport me vitin 2011 është mbi 60%. Factoring një nga shërbimet më të reja financiare jobankare në vend, nisi të operojë vetëm 3-4 vite më parë. Deri në 2012 kanë operuar dy kompani, por numri i tyre është rritur edhe më shumë këtë vit. Në varësi të nevojave, një shoqëri factoring mund të ofrojë shërbimet: factoring vendas me garaci, pa garanci, factoring për eksport-import, arkëtim apo shlyerje faturash, etj. Aktualisht në tregun shqiptar ofrohen shërbimet e factoring-ut me garanci. Tregu i faktoringut në Shqipëri vlerësohet të ketë arritur tashmë në 9 milionë euro, kur në vitin 2011 ishin në nivelet 3-4 milionë euro. 6

7 DIRECTORY OF FACTORS IN ALBANIA Company & Website Address Contact & Tel. & Fax Albania Factoring Services Sh.A. Rruga Abdyl Frashëri Pallati Hekla kati 2 Tiranë Gert Peshkatari Director T: F: Balkan Factors Albania SH.A. Rruga Perlat Rexhepi pallati Edil-Al kati 1 Tiranë Aida Nani Director Panagiotis Papatheodorou T: Omnifactor SH.A. Rruga Vaso Pasha pallati 13/1 kati 2 Tirana Genci Kushta Director: T: Profactoring Albania SH.P.K. Bulevardi Zogu I Parë Qendra e Biznesit VEVE kati 1 Tiranë Endrit Beqaj Director: T: F: M:

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