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September 26, 2022

Fewer foreign currency loans noted in Q4 2021

The various banks’ foreign currency deposit units (FCDU) reported fewer loans in the quarter ending December 2021 of only $15.7 billion.

This was 0.7 percent or $115 million lower than three months earlier when this totaled $15.8 billion as principal repayments exceeded take outs.

This was the sixth consecutive quarter of decline in foreign currency loans since the start of the pandemic although an economic recovery had been noted in recent quarters, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

According to the BSP, the continued lackluster pace of FCDU loans may be traced to tightened lending standards of the various units or that the foreign currency borrowers may have found other sources of funding.

The FCDU loans decreased from their year ago level of $16.7 billion by 5.6 percent or by $938 million and that the bigger portion of these were medium to long-term loans equal to 80 percent of total.

Of the total 66 percent of outstanding FCDU loans, 26.8 percent were obtained by power companies, 22.5 percent by merchandise and service exporters, and 10.4 percent by public utility firms.

FCDU deposits totaled $46.1 billion at end-December last year, which was half a percent or $217 million higher than end-September 2021.

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