Singapore bank lending quickens in March, growing 5.4% year on year

Bank lending in Singapore expanded by 5.4 per cent in March from a year ago. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Bank lending in Singapore expanded by 5.4 per cent in March from a year ago, faster than the 3.7 per pace of growth in February, on the solid growth in loans to financial institutions and home buyers.

Loans through the domestic banking unit - which tracks lending in all currencies, but mainly reflects Singapore-dollar lending - stood at S$661.60 billion last month compared to S$627.95 billion in March 2017, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore released on Monday (April 30).

Compared to the previous month, bank lending rose 1.6 per cent from S$650.93 billion in February.

Business loans stood at S$397.83 billion in March, up 5.4 per cent year on year, higher than the 2.9 per cent rate of growth seen in February.

Loans to financial institutions, the second-biggest segment in business lending, jumped by 17.9 per cent compared to growth of 9.4 per cent in February.

Building and construction loans - the largest segment - inched down 0.4 per cent to S$122.44 billion from a year ago.

Loans to manufacturers was nearly unchanged from a year ago at S$26.26 billion, after shrinking 7.5 per cent year on year a month ago.

Consumer loans continued to expand, rising by 5 4 per cent year on year to S$263.77 billion, slightly faster than the 5.2 per cent growth in February.

Housing and bridging loans, the largest category by far here, rose 4.4 per cent to S$201.66 billion from a year ago, comparable to the growth seen a month ago.

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