Germany industry leader warns about credit squeeze

30 December 2011 14:25  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s industrial producers could soon be facing a credit squeeze as banks become cautious in their lending because of the still unresolved eurozone debt crisis, the president of the country’s top industrial trade group, BDI, said on Friday.

“We could be running into a credit squeeze quicker than we can warn against,” Hans-Peter Keitel, president of Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) told German news agency dpa. German chemical producers trade group VCI is a member of BDI.

Keitel said in particular medium-sized and smaller firms could be hit. Those firms rely on bank financing as they have no access to capital markets, he said.

Keitel’s remarks contrast with recent survey findings by Munich-based economics research firm Ifo.

Ifo, in its December survey, said while German firms found it slightly harder to obtain access to credit than in November, their overall access to credit was still good and there were no signs of a credit crunch in Europe’s largest economy.

However, in a related development this week, Switzerland-based independent refiner Petroplus advised markets that lenders had frozen about $1bn (€770m) in “critical” credit lines, raising fears that the company may not be able to buy crude oil to keep its five refineries in Europe running.

($1 = €0.77)

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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