The pandemic discourages entrepreneurs from lending and investing

The pandemic discourages entrepreneurs from lending and investing

“In a situation of uncertainty, which is related to the greatest crisis we have after 30 years of stable growth, it is a natural human attitude to observe the situation. Companies, if they decide to invest, rightly focus on digitization and technologies, adapting to the changes caused by the pandemic in business models, "Tomasz Styczyński said during the debate" Macro and meso consequences of the Covid-19 crisis - opportunities and threats " vice president of Bank Pekao SA.

The key issues of the debate held on November 19 as part of the Corporate and Investment Banking Congress were the consequences of the crisis caused by the pandemic for the banking and financial sectors and scenarios for the development of key industries and sectors of the economy.

"Record low interest rates, which reduce the cost of credit, should encourage entrepreneurs to invest. Meanwhile, most investments are public ones, while private companies stop them "- noted Magdalena Zmitrowicz, vice president of Bank Pekao SA, who led the debate.

In the opinion of experts from the banking sector, the situation on the market is very dynamic, because, for example, consumers change their habits and buy more online, and companies do not invest in building their headquarters, because a hybrid work model has been adopted.

According to Tomasz Styczyński from Pekao SA, entrepreneurs observe these trends and if they make investment decisions, they rather invest in digitization, modern technologies or patents necessary to make a civilization leap and compete on global markets.

"We are dealing with an extremely unpredictable situation, regarding both investment projects and short-term decisions," said Jakub Papierski, Vice President of the Management Board of PKO BP. In his opinion, the decline in lending to entrepreneurs in the field of short-term working capital loans is also caused by the fact that entrepreneurs do not use them, because they have cash from the anti-crisis shield and loans guaranteed by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.

"347 thousand people benefited from the solutions of the anti-crisis shield. companies that received over PLN 60 billion, which translated into the highest liquidity and money creation ratios on the market, ”said Tomasz Piotrowicz, director of the Development Programs Department of the Polish Development Fund. He added that the scale of using funds for investments lies with the entrepreneur.

According to the entrepreneurs present at the debate: Rafał Gruszeczka, CFO at Maspex Group and Robert Kornecki, co-owner of Sanprobi, the decline in private corporate investments is related to lower activity of banks when it comes to engaging in risk related to new projects.

“Entrepreneurs were closely watched by banks that required more data. As a result, most of the owners of companies withdrew from the investment or postponed it to a later date, ”said Robert Kornecki.

The panellists concluded that the most promising industries and sectors resistant to the coronavirus pandemic are: IT and social media, telemedicine, e-commerce in connection with logistics and warehouse management, packaging production, green energy, furniture and interior furnishings.

However, banking sector officials suggest extreme caution in managing funds and securing cash reserves, as it will take more than a quarter or two to recover from a pandemic crisis.

“A period of uncertainty doesn't mean there's nothing that can be done. Only after Covid will the reality show the starting point for the expansion of enterprises. The increase in competitiveness will force optimization of costs related primarily to process automation, both in the digital dimension and in the machine park. It is a good time for an entrepreneur to invest in order to rebound and compete on the market, ”summed up Tomasz Styczyński.

Source of information: PAP MediaRoom

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