Namibian commercial banks reduce lending rates
Commercial banks in Namibia have lowered their lending rates in response to last week announcement by the country's central bank of a 50 basis point drop in the repo rate.Commercial banks in Namibia have lowered their lending rates in response to last week announcement by the country's central bank of a 50 basis point drop in the repo rate. Currently at 5.5 percent, this rate is at its lowest level since 1990 while the prime lending rate is at its lowest level since May 1974, the Economist reports. Standard Bank has reduced its prime lending rate to 9.25 percent from 9.75 percent and the home loan rate decreased from 10.75 percent to 10.25 percent, with effect from August 29. First National Bank (FNB) Namibia has also decreased its home loan rate to 10.25 percent and the prime lending rate to 9.25 percent, with effect from August 28th. "We are happy to follow suit and believe that this first interest rate drop in 21 months will also bring a bit of relief to our customers who have been carrying the burden of increased petrol and food prices for the better half of 2012," said FNB Group Manager for Market Research and Development Daniel Motinga, quoted by New Era newspaper. This announcement follows several measures recently introduced to improve access to finance in the country. In the second quarter of 2012, The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has lent 5.6 million dollars to local SMEs. A bank dedicated to SME lending is also being built in Windhoek.