In 2017, the volume of leasing business increased by 48% and amounted to 1.1 trillion rubles. During the past 2 years, market growth was caused by a gradual decline of the key rate, which led to an increase in the share of bank loans in financing sources for lease transactions. Market growth was also contributed to by state subsidies of truck sales and the realization of deferred demand for cars, which resulted in 52% growth in the SME segment and, as a consequence, growth in the number of lease transactions to 190 thousand against 145 thousand in 2016.
In addition, growth in operating leasing had a positive effect on the size of the leasing market – the volume of the former in 2017 amounted to approximately 230 billion rubles, and its share in new business volume reached 21%. The sum of new transactions in the past year reached 1.6 trillion rubles, which is 41% higher than the level of 2016 – as a result, the leasing portfolio demonstrated an increase by 8%, amounting to 3.4 trillion rubles on January 1, 2018. The more moderate growth rates of the portfolio volume are connected with the elimination of problematic lease agreements in the first half of last year.
For the second year in a row, the State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK) has remained the leader of the leasing market – the share of this company in the market declined from 17 to 13% in 2017 as a result of other market players in the top 20 having increased their lease transactions. Second place still belongs to “Sberbank Leasing” Group, which was actively concluding agreements in the segment of truck leasing in the past year. The highest growth rates among the top 10 companies were demonstrated by “VEB-Leasing” (+225% against 2016), which allowed the company to rank third in terms of new business volume. All in all, among the 120 study participants, negative business volume dynamics were only observed in 30 companies, which occupied not more than 4% of the market.
ONWARD ALONG THE TRACKS
The volume of new railway equipment business has started growing for the first time since 2011, having demonstrated record growth rates in the past year (+110%) – as a result, the share of the railway segment in the leasing market increased from 13 to 21%. ‘The recovery in demand for new railroad cars was caused by a shortage due to old car write-offs as well as high rates in the operating segment. For instance, open wagon rental rates increased almost twofold throughout 2017, from 800 to 1,600 rubles per day. This factor, combined with the financing costs, is crucial for the volume of the leasing segment in the railway industry,’ says Dmitry Zotov, General Director of “TransFin-M”. The volume of the aviation segment demonstrated 34% growth – a large share of aircraft transactions was performed within operating leasing, the volume of which in the leasing market reached 21% in 2017.
Car leasing is the largest segment in the leasing market, its volume having amounted to 369 billion rubles in 2017, which is 48 billion higher than the indicator of 2016. Growth in the segment was facilitated by state programs for car leasing subsidies, within which 13.75 billion rubles were allocated. The structure of car leasing underwent a number of shifts as a result of state support programs: for the first time in 3 years, the share of trucks exceeded the share of passenger cars, reaching 57% in the car segment. With the exception of transport segments, highest growth rates were demonstrated by agricultural machinery (+87%), demand for which was stimulated by state support programs for agriculture, and construction equipment (+50%), which was partly due to the construction of infrastructure facilities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On the whole, positive dynamics in the market can be observed in 11 out of 17 segments distinguished by “RAEX (Expert RA)” within the study of the leasing market.
The segment of food processing equipment leasing has been demonstrating negative dynamics. The volume of leasing business within the segment in 2017 dropped by more than 20% against the indicator for 2016, having declined to 5 billion rubles, which makes up 0,5% of the leasing market. The new business volume of “Siemens Finance”, which has been the leader in the segment for three years in a row, remained virtually unchanged in 2017 – nevertheless, the company’s share increased from 33 to 42% through an overall reduction in the segment. “UniCredit Leasing” and “Opcion TM”, which are second and third respectively in the segment, reduced their business volumes almost twofold in the past year.
WITH AN EYE ON SANCTIONS
The dynamics of the leasing market in 2017 will largely depend upon macroeconomic factors. At the same time, the level of uncertainty regarding further development of the Russian economy has increased due to additional sanctions imposed by Western countries. The tightening of sanctions may lead to a further fall in the Russian ruble’s exchange rate as well as increased inflation expectations among the local population, which may, in turn, lower the decline rate of the key rate or even raise the latter, which would put pressure on the leasing market. ‘The banking market as a whole, along with the leasing market, follows the key rate. Its decline in 2017 lowered the rates in the leasing market accordingly – its potential decrease in 2018 will contribute to further decline in rates in the leasing market as well,’ states Kirill Tsarev, General Director at “Sberbank Leasing”.
According to forecasts by “RAEX (Expert RA)”, assuming a lack of significant stress in the Russian economy, the leasing market will increase by 20% in 2018, reaching 1.3 trillion rubles. Despite the fact that the volume of car leasing subsidies this year dropped more than twofold, car leasing remains the largest segment and is expected to demonstrate growth at 25%. ‘Volumes of sales in the car segments are growing, and leasing’s penetration into these sales is ongoing. The two factors mentioned may virtually fully neutralize the negative impact of lower state support volumes,’ points out Dmitry Korchagov, General Director of “Baltic Leasing”. Old railroad cars will continue to be written off, which will ensure growth in the railway segment by 20%. The aviation segment will increase by 15%, primarily through transactions with domestic aircrafts, whereas other segments will demonstrate growth at 15% as a result of a further decline in lease transaction funding costs.