The Philippines: Bank lending shrinks the most in 14 years

  • Loans disbursed by big banks contracted for the second straight month as the industry remains risk-averse amid the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.
  • BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said preliminary data showed loans extended by universal and commercial banks shrank by 2.4% y/y to PHP8.95tr in Jan 21, following a 0.7% decline in Dec 20.
  • This was the worst slump for bank lending in more than 14 years or since the 2.9% decline in Aug 06.
  • Preliminary data showed lending for production activities shrank by 1.1% y/y, accounting for an 87.5% share of the total.
  • Disbursements to the real estate sector picked up anew by 5.7% y/y accounted for 19.7% of the total loan disbursements.
  • On the other hand, loan releases to the wholesale and retail trade, as well as repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, slumped by 6.9% y/y for a share of 11.8%, while lending to the manufacturing sector shrank by 7.4% y/y for a share of 10.8%.
  • The mining and quarrying sector booked a 10.3% y/y contraction.
  • Loans for electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply, however, increased by 3.5% and cornered a share of 11.6%.
  • Likewise, Diokno said consumer loans contracted by 6.9% y/y in Jan 21 for a share of 9.6% of total loan releases.

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