February bank loan growth slows to 0.4% on weaker business lending

Growth in bank lending in Singapore eased in February for the third month in a row, owing to a slowdown in the loans disbursed to businesses. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Growth in bank lending in Singapore eased in February for the third month in a row, owing to a slowdown in the loans disbursed to businesses. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Growth in bank lending in Singapore eased in February for the third month in a row, owing to a slowdown in the loans disbursed to businesses.

Preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore on Monday showed that banks gave out loans totalling $584.5 billion in February, up 0.4 per cent from the previous month. This was down from the 1.4 per cent rise registered in January from December.

Business loans for February stood at $358.1 billion, slightly up by 0.5 per cent in February from January. This also marked a slowdown from the 2.1 per cent growth logged in January over December.

Consumer loans stayed stable, with $226.4 billion disbursed in February. This was up 0.3 per cent from January, compared with a 0.4 per cent rise in January from December.

Housing loans in February went up 0.5 per cent from January to $168.2 billion, unchanged from the 0.5 per cent month-on-month hike seen in January.

Car loans continued their slide, with $10.3 billion lent out, a 1.9 per cent decline from the previous month. This marked the 19th straight month of decline in car loans, as car buyers reel from tighter financing requirements and higher Certificate of Entitlement premiums.