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Bishkek (AKIpress) - While credit is more easily available in Kyrgyzstan now than five years ago, progress in access to finance has been more limited relative to other areas, finds the the 2013 Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS).
In 2013 access to finance became 7th most important obstacle compared to 9th in 2008 even though the perception of access to financing has improved. Given that there was strong growth in credit to the private sector over this period, these trends may reflect the inability of the financial sector adequately to support businesses.
On the positive side, commercial banks have reduced the complexity of the application process. In 2013 only 4 percent of firms reported the complexity of the application process as the main reason for not applying for a loan, compared to 12 percent in 2008. This may be a result of improved coverage of private credit bureaus, perhaps in combination with strengthened legal rights of firms.
A higher share of companies buying inputs on credit in 2013 could be indicative of increasing trust between economic agents, although it is not yet resulting in higher volumes of credit-based sales. Forty-four percent of firms purchased inputs on suppliers’ credit in 2013, up from 31 percent in 2008. At the same time, inputs purchased on suppliers’ credits as a share in total inputs purchased went down from 51 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2013. Consequently, economy-wide, sales on credit went down from 32 percent to 17 percent of sales in 2008 and 2013, respectively.