Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), the nation's third largest lender, is this year targeting a 40 percent increase in housing loans, the largest contributor to its consumer lending growth.
BNI general manager for consumer loans Diah Sulistianto said Wednesday the target was based on estimated strong demand for housing loans, in line with an expected robust property industry.
"The property industry has grown rapidly in the past several years, creating a total need for housing credits of around 400,000 units annually.
"Yet, the banking sector is only absorbing around 150,000 units for credit per year. So, the room for growth for housing bank loans is big," Diah said after a business gathering with property agents and developers.
If it achieves the target, BNI's housing loans would reach Rp 6.9 trillion by the end of the year, from Rp 4.73 trillion booked throughout last year, which represented 81 percent growth from a year earlier.
"It was remarkable growth last year thanks to the booming property sector, which eventually triggered the need for credits for housing," Diah said.
Housing credits made up more than 36 percent of the bank's total consumer loans last year, which stood at around Rp 13 trillion, from Rp 10.2 trillion a year earlier.
In total, the bank disbursed some Rp 88 trillion in loans in 2007, an increase of 32 percent from the previous year.
Loan demand has also been helped by a declining trend in interest rates and the bank's innovative packages offered to borrowers, Diah said.