di Davide Marchetta
(supersedes previous)Rome, October 18 - Non-performing loans (NPLs) held by Italy's banks were stable in August at 84.7 billion euros net of devaluations that were carried out by the banks themselves, Italian Banking Association (ABI) said in a monthly report out Tuesday. The figure was up slightly from net NPLs of 84.4 billion euros in July. August NPLs made up 4.76% of total loans, up from 4.73% in the previous month. NPLs made up 4.93% of all loans at the end of 2015 and 0.86% of all loans before the economic crisis began in 2008, ABI said. The banking association also said bank loans posted zero growth, with lending to families and firms basically flat at -0.01% in September with respect to the same time last year. It added that, in August, mortgages were up 1.9% with respect to the same month in 2015, but loans to non-financial companies dropped by 0.2%. Home mortgage loan interest rates touched another historic low of 2.05% in September 2016, down from 2.16% in August. Overall lending rates dropped to 2.97%, down from 2.99% in August and 6.18% in 2007 prior to the economic crisis, ABI said.