RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore bank lending up 0.8% in April

Consumer and corporate loans edged up slightly.

Bank lending at Singapore banks inched up marginally by 0.8% MoM in April, according to preliminary data from the central bank.

Loans to businesses posted slower growth after rising 1.2% in April to $402b from 2.7% growth posted in March.Consumer lending also picked up from 0.1% in March to .3% in April to $265b.

Also read: Singapore banks net profit surge 27% in Q4 as they embrace fintech

The uptrend in the city-state’s property sector is expected to provide a boost to loan portfolio of SIngapore banks, particularly on housing and bridging loans which account for a third (30.5%) of overall loans. The local residential market has been gathering steam with private home sales surging 68% to 1,325 sold units in April as developers are steadily regaining confidence and driving home prices upwards amidst eager market takeup. 

The strong performance of the lion city’s lenders are also buoyed by low levels of stressed assets as banks have moved past the issue of deteriorating asset quality in the oil and gas sector amidst a recovery in global crude oil prices.

The average NPL ratio for DBS, UOB, and OCBC clocked in at 1.57% in Q1 as asset quality continues to stabilise.

“We remain optimistic on the prospects of the Singapore commercial banking sector over the coming quarters as it is likely to benefit from relatively healthy loan growth, stable asset quality, and robust capital adequacy,” said BMI Research.  

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