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31 January 2010

Philippines expects bank lending to stay healthy

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The central bank expects continued growth in bank lending this year but the uptick will likely be tempered by the availability of alternative funding sources, reported BusinessWorld online.

While lending will stay "healthy", it is unlikely to hit double-digit growth this year, BSP (central bank) Assistant Governor Cyd Tuano-Amador told reporters on Friday.

"Bank lending growth, we think, will continue to be healthy ... [but will be tempered] because there are other forms of financing such as corporate bonds," she said.

Her statement echoed that of BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., who earlier this year said more firms were likely to raise funds via the stock market or by issuing bonds, which would limit loan growth.

Earlier this month the Bankers Association of the Philippines said it expected bank lending to grow by the double-digits, citing an economic recovery.

Debt watcher Moody’s Investor Service this week upgraded its outlook on Philippine banks to stable from negative, noting an expected economic rebound this year.



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