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Singapore banks stronger than HK's despite consumer debt surge

Published on Mar 25, 2014 10:10 AM
While mortgage credit has slowed substantially after rounds of property cooling measures both in Singapore and in Hong Kong, regulators worry about the continued surge in non-housing personal loans, the report said. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Singapore banks are in better shape than their Hong Kong counterparts, even though consumer debt has surged in both cities, a new report has found.

The report, by Barclays Capital, said Singapore banks are in a stronger position as they have more defensive asset qualities than Hong Kong banks.

Consumer debt has grown rapidly in the wake of the global financial crisis, fuelled by plentiful cheap credit in a low-interest rate environment. This has sparked regulatory concern.

But the report, issued yesterday, also acknowledged that the pace of growth of Singapore's household debt to total economic output has stabilised since the Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework was rolled out last June.

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