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RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore banks' loan growth slows further to 1.37% in April

Housing loans fell to a three-month low at $202.76b.

Singapore bank loans grew by 1.37% YoY to $667.14b in April, according to preliminary data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This represented another month of slowdown from 2.2% growth in March and 3.3% in February as the consumer finance segment continues to take a heavy beating. 

Also read: Singapore bank loans may grind to a halt at 0.5% in 2019

Headline figures grew largely due to increases in business loans, which rose 2.29% to $411.70b. Loans to businesses in the building and construction sector led the gains and grew 13.04% to $138.90b from $122.88b last year. 

The heightened corporate M&A buzz will continue to lend support to business loans following big deals that have been announced in recent weeks including CapitaLand’s acquisition of Ascendas-SingBridge; the M1 buyout by Keppel and SPH and the mega-merger of OUE Commercial REIT and OUE Hospitality Trust, CIMB said in an earlier report. 

Loans to general commerce and financial institutions dipped 4.11% and 9.69% YoY to $65.92b and $97.72b respectively. Housing loans continued their steep downtrend after falling to a three-month low at $202.76b although the figure is still slightly higher compared to last year's $202.50b.

“We expect business loans to continue driving loan growth for the year as mortgage drawdown remains slow,” DBS said in a May report. 

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