Singapore bank lending dips in January over December, on slight fall in business loans

ATM machines from UOB, DBS and OCBC Bank, at Changi Airport terminal 2.
ATM machines from UOB, DBS and OCBC Bank, at Changi Airport terminal 2.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Bank lending in Singapore dipped by a marginal 0.04 per cent in January from a month ago, after rising 1.1 per cent in December, as business loans weakened skightly.

Loans through the domestic banking unit - which captures lending in all currencies but mainly reflects Singapore-dollar lending - stood at S$617.09 billion in January, close to December's total of S$617.35 billion.

From a year ago, bank lending in January was up 2.8 per cent compared to S$600.2 billion in January 2015, the preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Tuesday (Feb 28) showed.

Business loans eased 0.07 per cent to S$366.71 billion from S$367 billion in the previous month, mainly due to a 3 per cent fall in loans to the general commerce industry to S$62 billion.

Loans to manufacturers also declined, easing 1.5 per cent to S$25.83 billion. But loans to the building & construction industry grew 0.4 per cent to S$121.83 billion. Lending also rose 0.6 per cent to S$80.83 billion for the finance industry and 5.7 per cent to S$22.28 billion for the transport, storage & communication industry.

Consumer loans continued its month on month growth, though at a much slower pace of 0.02 per cent, down from 0.3 per cent in December. They edged up to S$250.38 billion from S$250.34 billion in December, mostly due to a 0.2 per cent rise in housing and bridging loans to S$191.52 billion from S$191.1 billion previously.