As of end-December 2010, outstanding loans granted by Foreign Currency Deposit Units (FCDUs) of banks amounted to US$5.8 billion, up by US$657 million (or 12.7 percent) from the end-September 2010 level of US$5.2 billion. The expansion resulted mainly from the US$698 million net disbursements (gross disbursements of US$3.5 billion less repayments of US$2.8 billion).
Year-on-year, an 18.1 percent expansion (US$894 million) in the loan portfolio was recorded compared to the December 2009 level of US$4.9 billion as loan disbursements for the year outpaced repayments. The expansion manifested renewed appetite for foreign exchange loans as borrowers slowly regained confidence on the country's improving business and investment opportunities after the uncertainties brought about by the financial crisis in 2009.
About 55.7 percent of outstanding FCDU loans had medium- to long-term (MLT) maturities or those payable over a term of more than one (1) year, with the 44.3 percent balance representing short-term (ST) accounts [or those with original maturities of up to one (1) year].
Resident borrowers (who are mainly from the private sector) have consistently dominated loans from FCDUs which stood at US$4.4 billion by end-2010 and represented about 75.7 percent of the total portfolio.
Gross disbursements in the fourth quarter reached US$3.5 billion, US$454 million higher than the previous period's level. About 73.3 percent of the new loan releases were in favor of resident borrowers. Majority of the loans went to companies from the financial and manufacturing sectors. About 88.5 percent of the new loans had short-term maturities.
FCDU deposit liabilities grew by US$654 million (2.7 percent) during the last quarter of the year to reach US$24.9 billion. The bulk (97.8 percent) of these deposits was held by residents. A further improvement in the overall loans-to-deposits ratio was likewise noted from 21.4 percent in September 2010 to 23.4 percent at year-end due to the larger expansion in FCDU loans compared to the increase in deposit liabilities.