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Singapore bank lending picks up pace in March, growing 5.4% y-o-y

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.

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.

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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 momth 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.