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Philippine Feb. Bank Lending Continues To Grow

Philippine bank lending continued to grow at a solid pace in February, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday.

Outstanding loans of commercial banks, net of banks' reverse repurchase placements with the BSP, increased 18 percent year-on-year, but it was slightly slower than the 19.1 percent expansion seen in the previous month.

Loans for production activities, which comprised more than four-fifths of banks' total loan portfolio, grew at a slower pace of 18.4 percent in February. Meanwhile, the growth of consumer loans accelerated slightly to 20.3 percent.

Domestic liquidity or M3 grew at a steady pace of 7.2 percent year-on-year in February, the central bank said in a separate communique.

On a monthly basis, M3 rose 1.1 percent compared to 1 percent rise in the previous month. The growth was driven by the sustained increase in net foreign assets.

Driven by net equity inflows, foreign direct investments posted net inflows amounting to $766 million in January, almost four times higher than the year-ago level of $214 million, BSP said in a separate report.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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