Singapore bank lending up 0.7% in March: MAS data

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Bank lending continued its growth streak in March, rising 0.7 per cent on higher housing loans, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Friday (April 30).

Loans through the domestic banking unit – which captures lending in all currencies but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending – stood at $691.23 billion in March, from $686.73 billion in February.

Loans to consumers grew 0.7 per cent month on month to $263.70 billion in March. Housing loans, which make up three-quarters of consumer lending, posted growth momentum and were up 0.6 per cent to $203.92 billion. This compares with a 0.3 per cent increase in February.

Total loans to businesses edged up 0.7 per cent month on month to $427.53 billion for the fourth straight month in March. This came even as loans to the single-largest business segment – building and construction – slipped 0.3 per cent to $151.71 billion.

Year on year, total bank lending was down 0.2 per cent.

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