Loans extended by banks up 18.7% in March | Inquirer Business

Loans extended by banks up 18.7% in March

Boost to consumption, investments

Bank lending continued to rise in March, posting an 18.7-percent growth to P2.82 trillion from P2.37 trillion a year ago.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said the robust growth in credit would support higher consumption and investments that the domestic economy needed to counter the adverse impact of unfavorable developments offshore.

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Growth in loans benefited both enterprises and individual borrowers, the central bank said.

“The sustained growth in bank lending is expected to support real estate sector activity in the months ahead,” BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a statement.

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BSP data showed that outstanding loans to businesses reached P2.57 trillion, up by 19.3 percent from P2.15 trillion a year ago.

Businesses that benefited the most from the rise in bank lending were those engaged in manufacturing, real estate, financial intermediation, utilities, transportation and communications, and construction, the BSP said.

Individual borrowers accounted for P230.84 billion, up by 18.5 percent from P194.74 billion a year ago.

Loans extended to individual borrowers were used mostly to support purchases of residential properties and automobiles. It also covers credit card borrowings.

The BSP said the rise in bank lending was helpful, especially since the Philippines had to rely much more on domestic sources of growth given the decline in the country’s export earnings.

Latest data from the National Statistics Office showed that the country’s exports contracted by 1.2 percent in March to $4.3 billion, from $4.36 billion in the same period last year.

The rise in bank lending as of March was consistent with projections of a double-digit growth this year, given the liquidity of the banking industry.

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Last year, bank lending grew by 20 percent to P2.7 trillion.

The BSP also reported that with the growth in bank lending in March, overall liquidity in the domestic economy likewise grew.

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TAGS: bank lending, Banking, Loans
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