As of end-2009, outstanding loans granted by Foreign Currency Deposit Units (FCDUs) of banks were recorded at US$4.9 billion, up by US$147 million from the end-September level of US$4.8 billion. Loan disbursements during the quarter exceeded repayments by US$337 million, but these were partially offset by negative adjustments, largely on account of transfer/sale of certain loans.
About 62 percent of the loans had medium to long-term (MLT) maturities, that is, with original payment terms of more than one year, while the 38 percent balance had short term (ST) tenors, that is, payable within one year. The maturity mix thus slightly changed from 41(ST)/59(MLT) in the third quarter of 2009.
Residents have consistently dominated borrowings from FCDUs, accounting for about 69 percent of the total portfolio (or US$3.4 billion, which are mainly private sector borrowings).
Gross disbursements (US$2.5 billion) and repayments (US$2.2 billion) were higher by US$509 million and US$471 million, respectively than the prior quarter’s levels. Of the new loan releases, about 84 percent had short-term maturities, reflecting a cautious attitude to longer-term exposure; the 16 percent balance of disbursements were medium to long-term in nature.
FCDU deposit liabilities further expanded by US$304 million (or 1.4 percent) from US$22.3 billion as of end-September to reach a record high of US$22.6 billion by year-end. The bulk (98 percent) of these deposits were held by residents. Overall loans-to-deposits ratio nominally improved to 21.5 percent from 21.1 percent a quarter ago.
Year-on-year, however, FCDU loans decreased by US$482 million (or 8.9 percent) compared to the US$5.4 billion recorded in December 2008, arising mainly from sale of certain loans to an offshore investor.