BSP Governor Rafael B. Buenaventura reported that as of March 31, 2003, loans granted by foreign currency deposit units (FCDUs) of commercial banks and thrift banks amounted to US$4,856 million, US$47 million or 1 percent lower than the end-2002 level of US$4,903 million. The decline resulted from net repayments of US$48.1 million, which were only slightly offset by the net upward adjustment of US$1.1 million pertaining to foreign exchange revaluation, audit findings and rebooking of certain accounts.
In contrast, peso loans of commercial banks (which currently account for 99.5 percent of the FCDU portfolio) posted a 2 percent increase during the quarter to reach Php1,198 billion at end-March (equivalent to around US$22.4 billion).
FCDU deposit liabilities rose by US$183 million or 1 percent to US$13,046 million with the bulk (US$12,550 million or 96 percent) pertaining to residents. The overall loans-to-deposits ratio, based on the BSP-prescribed lagged computation using the levels of deposit liabilities as of six months before and loans as of the current quarter-end, went up to 38.3 percent from 36.9 percent in December.
By maturity, medium and long-term accounts amounted to US$3,268 million or 67 percent of total outstanding FCDU loans. Private sector loans accounted for 74 percent and the public sector, 26 percent. By industry, commodity and service eexporters remained the top beneficiaries of FCDU credits with a 25 percent share, followed by public utility firms (23 percent), the Bangko Sentral (11.7 percent), and oil companies (8 percent).
Since 2001, the top five lenders consisted of four local commercial banks and one branch of a foreign bank. As of end-March, their combined exposures were equivalent to 47 percent of total outstanding FCDU credits.
Foreign currency loans disbursed by FCDUs in March 2003 had a weighted average interest rate of 3.25 percent. For the same period, commercial bank rates on peso loans ranged from 9 to 11 percent.
Around 67 percent of loan disbursements during the quarter came from local commercial banks while loans disbursed to oil companies accounted for 33.7 percent of the total.