Hong Kong’s Foreign Currency Deposits Decline in March

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has published statistics that showed overall foreign-currency deposits falling by 1.3 percent in March, with renminbi deposits decreasing by 2.2 percent.

The KHMA data showed that total deposits with authorized institutions grew by 2.5 percent in March 2015.

With demand, savings and time deposits increasing, Hong Kong-dollar deposits went up by 6.8 percent during the month, the HKMA data showed.

Renminbi deposits in Hong Kong decreased by 2.2 percent to Rmb952.0 billion at the end of March. The total remittance of renminbi for cross-border trade settlement amounted to Rmb616.2 billion in March, compared with Rmb462.0 billion in February.

Total loans and advances grew by 3.6 percent in March, the HKMA said.

The loan growth in March 2015 was mainly driven by initial public offering (IPO) loans (around HK$200 billion) straddling the end of March.

Excluding IPO loans, the loan growth in March would have been 0.8 percent, the HKMA said.

Among the total, loans for use in Hong Kong (including trade finance) rose by 4.7 percent, and loans for use outside Hong Kong increased by 1.0 percent.

As Hong Kong-dollar loans increased at a faster pace than deposits, the Hong Kong-dollar loan-to-deposit ratio edged up to 83.1 percent at the end of March from 83.0 percent at the end of February.

In the first quarter of 2015, loans for use in Hong Kong (including trade finance) grew by 5.5 percent after declining by 0.7 percent in the previous quarter.

Analysed by economic use, the quarterly expansion in loans was mainly led by loans to stockbrokers, trade finance, and residential mortgage loans.

Seasonally adjusted Hong Kong-dollar M1 declined by 0.9 percent in March and grew by 7.8 percent year on year. Seasonally unadjusted Hong Kong-dollar M3 rose by 6.0 percent during the month and expanded by 15.2 percent from a year earlier. – BusinessNewsAsia.com