Bangko Sentral figures show that as of December 31, 2002, the total outstanding loans granted by Foreign Currency Deposit Units (FCDUs) of commercial banks and thrift banks amounted to US$4,903.3 million, up by US$4.4million (or about 0.1 percent) from the previous quarter but down by US$655.3 million or 11.8 percent from the end-2001 level.
In comparison, peso loans of commercial banks (commercial banks accounted 99.4 percent of total FCDU loans outstanding) posted increases from both the previous quarter and the previous year by 1.2 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.
Bangko Sentral Officer-in-Charge Mr. Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. attributed these developments to borrowers’ continued aversion towards foreign exchange risk that is inherent in foreign currency loans as well as to the low interest rates on peso loans which had a low average of 8.1 percent and a high average of 10.0 percent in December 2002.
“Private sector accounts continued to make up the bulk (US$3,745.3 million or 76.4 percent) of outstanding FCDU credits and were almost evenly split between short-term (ST) and medium and long-term (MLT) maturities. Public sector loans, which accounted for the balance of 23.6 percent, mostly carried MLT maturities”, Mr. Tetangco said.
Loans to resident borrowers accounted for 96.8 percent of the outstanding portfolio. Top beneficiaries of FCDU loans were commodity and service exporters which had a 26.3 percent share of the total, followed by public utilities, 22.8 percent. The other large FCDU borrowers were the Bangko Sentral, oil companies and producers/manufacturers.
By maturity, medium and long-term accounts rose by US$8.4 million during the quarter to US$3.3 billion or two-thirds of total portfolio as of end-2002, reflecting a steadily rising share from 53.4 percent and 62.2 percent at end-2000 and end-2001, respectively.
FCDUs of local banks accounted for 70.6 percent of the total FCDU loan portfolio and branches and subsidiaries of foreign banks, 29.4 percent . The top five lenders as of end-2001 consisting of four local banks and one foreign bank remained in the circle of top lenders as of end-2002. These banks’ combined exposures accounted for 46.8 percent of total FCDU loans outstanding as of end-2002, markedly up from their 38.4 percent share as of end-2001.
Meanwhile, FCDU deposit liabilities increased by about US$0.6 billion during the quarter to US$12.9 billion at year-end, with 95.8 percent pertaining to residents. About 78.7 percent of these deposits were owed by local banks and the balance of 21.3 percent by branches and subsidiaries of foreign banks.