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Those who borrowed in francs in 2006 to buy homes are better off now

Autor: Liviu Chiru

10 mar 2011 9

Those who chose to borrow in Swiss francs to buy a home in2006-2007 paid less in lei than if they had taken out aeuro-denominated loan, thanks to the lower interest rates, despitethe franc/leu exchange rate rising faster than the euro/leurate.
Considering the options available for a 60,000-euro loan (whichwould have meant 95,500 Swiss francs at the exchange rate valid forthe end of 2006, over 30 years, even amid similar interest rateterms, the balance is tipped in favour of the franc-denominatedloan.

Therefore, considering a fixed nominal interest rate of 5.5% a yearin the first year, and then calculated based on referenceindicators on the financial markets - six-month Libor forfranc-denominated loans and six-month Euribor for euro-denominatedloans - plus a 4.5% margin, the instalments on a franc-denominatedloan would have totalled 98,700 lei until now (the conversion wasmade at the exchange rate of the NBR (National Bank of Romania)valid for the last day of every month). In the case ofeuro-denominated loans, the overall value of instalments slightlyexceeds the equivalent of 100,000 lei.

"In most cases, the overall cost of a Swiss franc-denominated loantaken out between 2006 and 2007 is still lower than the overallcost of a similar loan taken out in euros," says Anca Bidian, CEOof Kiwi Finance, the biggest credit broker on the Romanianmarket.

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