Bank lending, domestic liquidity up in March

By Anna Leah Gonzales

May 10, 2024, 9:33 am

MANILA – Bank lending of universal and commercial banks (U/KBs) and domestic liquidity grew at a faster pace in March.

Preliminary data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) late Thursday showed that the outstanding loans of universal and commercial banks, excluding those placed in the central bank’s reverse repurchase (RRP) facility, went up by 9.4 percent in March from 8.6 percent in February.

Outstanding loans issued by U/KBs amounted to PHP11.7 trillion in March from PHP10.7 trillion in the same month last year. It was also up from PHP11.6 trillion in February.

The BSP said outstanding loans to residents, net of RRPs, increased by 9.5 percent in March from 8.7 percent in the previous month, while outstanding loans to non-residents went up by 9.1 percent in March after expanding by 6.5 percent in February.

Loans for production activities increased by 7.7 percent from 6.8 percent in February.

The central bank attributed the increase mainly to the rise in loans to major sectors, particularly real estate activities (11.5 percent); electricity, gas, steam, and air-conditioning supply (10.1 percent); wholesale and retail trade, and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (6.6 percent); construction (18.3 percent); manufacturing (4.9 percent); and transportation and storage (14.3 percent).

"Similarly, consumer loans to residents went up by 25.4 percent in March from a growth rate of 25.2 percent in February, driven by the increase in credit card, motor vehicle, and salary-based general purpose consumption loans," the BSP said.

Domestic liquidity (M3), meanwhile, expanded by 5.7 percent to PHP17.2 trillion in March from 5.1 percent in February.

Domestic claims expanded by 10.8 percent from 9.6 percent in the previous month.

Claims on the private sector grew by 10.9 percent from 10.3 in February with the sustained expansion in bank lending to non-financial private corporations and households.

Net claims on the central government expanded by 15 percent from 12 percent due in part to the decline in the deposits of the national government with the BSP.

Net foreign assets (NFA) in peso terms went up by 5 percent from 3.6 percent in February.

The BSP said its NFA grew by 6.2 percent while the NFA of banks contracted on account of higher bills payable.

"The BSP will continue to ensure that domestic liquidity conditions remain consistent with the prevailing stance of monetary policy, in keeping with its price and financial stability objectives," it said. (PNA)