Monetary Statistics for March 1999
According to statistics published today (29 April 1999) by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA"), total deposits grew while loans and advances decreased in March. Table 1 provides a summary and comparison with earlier months.
Total deposits grew by 0.5% (HK$15.0 billion) in March, mainly due to an increase in HK$ deposits. As HK$ deposits increased (1.4%) while foreign currency deposits declined (-0.7%), the share of HK$ deposits to total deposits increased to 57.0% in March, compared with 56.5% in the preceding month.
The increase in HK$ deposits was mainly attributable to a shift from currency held by the public to bank deposits after the Chinese New Year holiday. Demand deposits increased substantially by 8.3%, while savings and time deposits rose by 0.2% and 1.3% respectively during the month.
Foreign currency deposits declined by 0.7% in March, as the decline in US$ deposits (2.1%) more than offset the increase in non-US$ foreign currency deposits (1.3%).
Loans and advances
Total loans and advances shrank for the fifth consecutive month, by 3.2% in March. In line with the slowdown of economic activity in the region, loans for use outside Hong Kong plummeted by 7.4%, while domestic loans fell by 1.0%. HK$ loan-to-deposit ratio decreased to 99.2% at end-March, compared with 101.2% at end-February.
Quarterly analysis of loans for use in Hong Kong by major economic sector
During the March quarter, domestic loans contracted further by 2.6%, following a drop of 2.3% in the previous quarter. Lending to the manufacturing sector and loans for trade financing contracted by 3.1% and 7.9% respectively. In line with the slack performance in retail sales, loans for wholesale and retail trades dropped by 4.2% in the March quarter, having shrunk by 4.9% in the December quarter. Loans for building, construction and property development and investment declined by 3.0%. Nevertheless, residential mortgage loans and electricity, gas and telecommunication-related lending increased by 0.7% and 2.4% respectively in the March quarter. Amid buoyant stock market activities, lending to stockbrokers increased substantially by 15.2%, after declining by 30.6% in the preceding quarter.
HK$M1 rose by 1.5% in March, as the 8.3% increase in demand deposits offset the 5.2% decline in currency held by the public. Meanwhile, both HK$M2 and HK$M3 increased by 1.1% during the month. In the twelve months to March, HK$M1 fell by 2.0%, while HK$M2 and HK$M3 grew by 8.5% and 8.2% respectively.
Note to editor
For enquiries, please contact the Press Section, Hong Kong Monetary Authority. (Telephone number: 2878 8261)
Hong Kong Monetary Authority
29 April 1999