Crediting has boomed across Eastern and Central Europe for two years and the fast spread of credits is expected to continue on all markets in the region, led by the retail sector where Romania comes third after Russia and Serbia, according to a new study published by the Unicredit group.

The document says lending in Romania is expected to rise by some 25% yearly in the period of 2006-2008 and lending for the population to grow by 37% yearly. The engine of growth is given by the retail sector and by a favorable performance of corporate loans.

Dan Pascariu, head of HVB Bank Romania, told that agriculture is not expected to draw the attention of banks for the next two years.

According to the Unicredit study, the total volume of credits per GDP in the region grew from 24% to 32% in the period of 2000-2005, with record figures in Russia and South-East Europe, including Turkey.

Romania remains one of the countries with a major potential for development due both to a late restructuring of the banking sector and the relative low degree of banking intermediation compared to other countries in the region.