Singapore bank lending slides for 5th straight month in July

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Bank lending in Singapore extended its slide for the fifth straight month in July, dipping 0.2 per cent from the previous month, preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) showed on Monday (Aug 31).

Loans through the domestic banking unit – which captures lending in all currencies, but reflects mainly Singapore-dollar lending – stood at $678.7 billion in July, compared with $680.1 billion in June.

To be sure, MAS’ preliminary data previously reflected that total loans in June came in at $680.4 billion, compared with the actual revised figure of $680.1 billion.

Loan weakness in July was mainly due to a fall in business loans for the fourth straight month amid the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic; consumer loans were largely flat in July at $254.5 billion.

On a month-on-month basis, loans to businesses fell 0.3 per cent to $424.2 billion in July, dragged down by weaker loans to sectors such as manufacturing, general commerce, transport, and business services. But year on year, business loans grew 1.5 per cent.

Overall, total loans fell 0.3 per cent year on year to mark the second consecutive year on decline.

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