Leasing did not have enough items - Newspaper Kommersant No. 13 (7458) dated 01/25/2023

The results of 2022 in the Russian leasing market turned out to be better than forecasts - the volume of new business decreased in monetary terms by only 12-14%, the number of leased objects transferred - by 30%. However, despite the stabilization in the second half of the year, market participants are looking at 2023 with caution. At best, recovery growth is expected in the second half of the year due to unresolved logistics issues and attraction of new brands.

In 2022, the number of new leasing agreements in Russia decreased by 25%, to 272,000, while the number of leased items transferred under these agreements decreased by 30%, to 390,000. Such data are provided in a study by the National Rating Agency (NRA), which was reviewed by Kommersant.

According to the agency, the volume of new business in terms of money decreased by 12-14%.

This result turned out to be better than the forecasts that experts gave based on the results of three quarters - then the NRA expected that over the year the number of transferred leased items would fall by 40%, and leasing agreements - by 35% (see "Kommersant" dated December 1, 2022).

The most significant decrease (by more than 60%) in leased items transferred to customers occurred in the segments of railway transport, video and computer equipment, as well as equipment for catering, list in the NRA. The most massive segment - commercial and passenger cars - fell by 35% (see "Kommersant" dated July 25, 2022). The segments of special equipment turned out to be the most resistant to the crisis (a decrease of 8%, see Kommersant of September 22, 2022), space and aircraft (10%). Growth, despite the crisis, showed real estate - by 7%.

The companies began active cooperation with manufacturers from China and Belarus, and also expanded product offerings for used equipment, explains Vyacheslav Spirov, general director of Sberbank Leasing. In particular, the company's sales of Chinese passenger brands grew by 200% in 2022, and sales of used vehicles by 280%.

But the lack of technology remains.

The current volume of offers on the market in the passenger car segment still cannot satisfy the demand for inexpensive sedans, Mr. Spirov notes. “Last year, there was a shortage of truck tractors, light commercial vehicles and new cars for taxi fleets and car sharing on the market. The problem was partially solved due to used vehicles and Chinese auto brands. The segment of light commercial vehicles has not fully recovered yet,” confirms Maria Gabunia, Marketing Director of Alfa-Leasing Group of Companies.

Parallel imports have not yet justified themselves, and there are no significant prerequisites for a change in the trend, says Guram Kudryavtsev, general director of Rosbank Leasing. “Many of our clients have encountered both logistical and tax difficulties when importing assets of brands that have left Russia. Therefore, the trend will be precisely to replace the market of both transport and machinery and equipment with new players. The longest replacement process will be in the segment of complex technological equipment,” points out Mr. Kudryavtsev.

At the same time, market participants believe that it demonstrates the ability to adapt quickly.

“Together with a stable key rate and the factor of pent-up demand, we can confidently talk about growth,” says Maxim Goncharuk, CEO of Delta Leasing (part of the Insight Group), optimistic.

"Of course, it's too early to talk about explosive growth," said Maksim Kalinkin, general director of the Gazprombank Leasing group. But, according to him, "the current level of the key rate, the establishment of logistics chains, the emergence of new equipment manufacturers from Southeast Asia and the Middle East will allow us to win back the losses of last year a little." “If the current situation persists, the total increase in new business could reach 9%,” estimates Sergey Klyushnikov, general director of VTB Leasing.

NRA experts believe that recovery growth this year will begin in the third quarter at best. In the first two quarters, the market is in for a recession, largely due to the ongoing restructuring of logistics links (see "Kommersant" dated March 8, 2022), experts of the agency explain. In the baseline scenario, the number of transferred leased items will increase by 8–10%. In monetary terms, the volume of new business could grow by 15% to RUB 2.1 trillion. At the same time, Rosagroleasing's analysts believe that this year "we can expect some decrease in demand, both solvent and for leasing due to competition with industry soft loans."

Polina Trifonova

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