Singapore bank lending up slightly in January

Singapore bank lending edged up marginally in January from the previous month on little movement in business and consumer loans.

Loans and advances by domestic banks totalled $600.2 billion in January from $599.8 billion in December, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday showed.

Compared with a year ago, January bank lending was down 1.2 per cent from $607.5 billion. This was slightly less than the year-on-year decline of 1.3 per cent in December. But it was the longest year-on-year contraction streak since 1999, which saw six consecutive months of business loan declines between November 1999 and April 2000, noted OCBC Bank's head of treasury research and strategy, Ms Selena Ling.

"That said, bank loans actually rose a marginal 0.1 per cent month on month in January, which could suggest some stabilisation for now," she said.

Business loans in January stood at $357 billion, largely unchanged from a month ago. In December, the loans fell 1.3 per cent.

Consumer lending was also largely unchanged at $243 billion, after rising 0.2 per cent in December.

Housing and bridging loans in January rose to $185.3 billion from $184.7 billion in December.

Loans and advances in non-Singapore Asian currencies were $545.9 billion in January, down from $549.6 billion in December.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore bank lending up slightly in January'. Print Edition | Subscribe