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Singapore bank lending eases in July with first m-o-m decline since January

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BANK lending in Singapore declined month-on-month for the first time since January this year, though it maintained a still strong year-on-year growth, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Friday.

BANK lending in Singapore declined month-on-month for the first time since January this year, though it maintained a still strong year-on-year growth, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore showed on Friday. 

Loans through the domestic banking unit stood at S$667.53 billion in July, down 0.8 per cent from the record $673.25 billion reached in June, but up 6.9 per cent from S$632.60 billion a year ago.

The month-on-month dip was due to the drop in overall business lending which shrank 1.4 per cent to S$402.46 billion from S$407.97 billion in June.

The loss in monthly loan momentum came as loans to financial institutions, the general commerce sector, manufacturers, and transport and storage sectors saw modest declines.

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Year-on-year, business loans rose 6.9 per cent from S$377.71 billion in July 2017, just off June's 7.0 per cent increase, which was the fastest since November.

Consumer lending in July stood at S$265.07 billion, almost unchanged from S$265.28 billion in June, but up 4.0 per cent from S$254.88 billion a year ago.

Last-minute buying to beat the the latest round of property cooling measures that took effect on July 6 supported housing and bridging loans that month, as they clocked in at S$203.38 billion, up 0.2 per cent from June's S$203.04 billion, and a 4.0 per cent increase from S$195.49 billion a year ago.

Singapore banks are bracing for a slowdown in home loans given the latest property curbs, while global trade frictions have begun to impact business sentiment and spending.