12 January 2005

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Bank savings, private sector loans on the increase

By David Lindsay

Despite the fact that bank deposits across Malta had remained stable between October and November of last year at Lm1.111 billion, according to figures released by the Central Bank of Malta this week, the year on year growth in Maltese savings shot up by 7.9 per cent, meaning that Maltese have added Lm81.3 million to their savings over the span of a single year.
With more liquid cash at the disposal of the investing public, the time would appear ripe for the introduction of new investment vehicles from the private or public sector.
In contrast, deposits with an agreed maturity of up to two years fell over the month of November by 0.5 per cent, a development thought to reflect portfolio shifts into newly issued government debt. Between November 2003 and November 2004 such deposits dropped by 0.9 per cent to Lm1.321 billion. Deposits redeemable at up to three months’ notice, meanwhile, increased by 3.7 per cent to Lm29.2 million.
Domestic credit also continued to rise, spurred by growth in loans to the construction sector and to households. Growth levels were supported mainly by further growth in loans to the private sector, which stood, as of November, at Lm2.0385 billion - up 0.4 per cent for the month and up 6.9 per cent for the year. The year on year rise in private sector loans stands at Lm131.9 million.
Loans to the public, meanwhile, grew with even more impetus and soared by 13.4 per cent for the year and in November stood at a total of Lm178 million.
Despite an overall rise in domestic credit as a whole for the month, of 0.2 per cent, the annual growth rate for domestic credit fell from 12.5 per cent in October to 5.2 per cent in November. The curious fluctuation is thought to be a reflection of base effects associated with an exceptional increase in claims on the private sector in November 2003, thought to be related to the activities of a foreign-owned bank operating in Malta.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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