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Leasing market growth slows, companies take more risks

Growth on Hungary's leasing market slowed in the first nine months of the year as car sales stagnated, and leasing companies took on bigger risks by financing a bigger part of assets, the Hungarian Leasing Association announced on Wednesday. Members of the Association financed assets worth Ft 816.9 billion in the first three quarters of 2005, 6.7% more than in the same period a year earlier, and equivalent to 76.4% of the value of leased assets during all of 2004. The period is the first during which the value of leased assets showed just single-digit growth.
Pál Antall, who heads the association and is the head of Raiffeisen Bank's leasing arm, blamed the slowdown on stagnating car sales, but added that more leases of equipment made up for this. Leasing companies can still meet their targets, despite the stagnation on their biggest segment, he said. The value of members' leases grew at a quicker pass, rising 10.4% to Ft 612.3 billion in the first nine months of 2005 compared to the same period last year.