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Bank lending in Singapore down 1.1% in April: MAS

Friday, May 29, 2015 - 10:51
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Bank lending in April fell for the fifth straight month compared to a month earlier.

BANK lending in April fell for the fifth straight month compared to a month earlier. Business lending was down sharply - the biggest contraction since November 2008 - and consumer loans dipped for the first time since April 2006.

Loans through the domestic banking unit - which essentially captures lending in all currencies but mainly reflects Singapore-dollar lending - stood at S$594 billion in April, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Friday. This was a deeper fall of 1.1 per cent from S$601 billion in March, compared to the 0.4 per cent dip in March.

Business loans were down 1.8 per cent to S$357 billion from a month ago. Lending was hurt by weaker trade loans. There was also no growth in construction lending - the single-largest lending segment for business loans.

Consumer lending dipped 0.1 per cent to S$237 billion compared to March, hurt by a deeper fall in credit card loans. This comes amid new regulations for unsecured lending which will set in soon.

From a year ago, bank lending in April was up just 0.5 per cent, weaker than the 2.3 per cent year-on-year gain posted in March.

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