According to statistics published today (Wednesday) by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, total deposits with authorized institutions increased by 0.2% in March 2020. Among the total, Hong Kong dollar deposits declined by 0.7%, while overall foreign-currency deposits increased by 1.0%. Renminbi deposits in Hong Kong increased by 4.0% to RMB664.2 billion at the end of March. The total remittance of renminbi for cross-border trade settlement amounted to RMB645.7 billion in March, compared with RMB481.0 billion in February.
Total loans and advances increased by 1.6% in March. Among the total, loans for use in Hong Kong (including trade finance) went up by 1.7% and loans for use outside Hong Kong increased by 1.4% from a month ago. The Hong Kong-dollar loan-to-deposit ratio edged up to 90.1% at the end of March from 89.9% at the end of February, as Hong Kong-dollar loans decreased at a slower pace than Hong Kong-dollar deposits.
In the first quarter of 2020, loans for use in Hong Kong (including trade finance) increased by 3.4% following growth of 0.6% in the previous quarter. Analysed by economic use, the increase in loans during the first quarter was mainly led by loans to financial concerns, and loans to building, construction, property development and investment.
Hong Kong dollar M2 and M3 both declined by 0.7% in March, and stayed virtually unchanged compared to a year ago. The seasonally-adjusted Hong Kong dollar M1 declined by 2.0% in March, and dropped by 0.4% compared to a year ago, reflecting in part investment-related activities. Total M2 and M3 both edged up by 0.1% in March, and expanded by 2.2% and 2.0% respectively from a year earlier.
As monthly monetary statistics are subject to volatilities due to a wide range of transient factors, such as seasonal and IPO-related funding demand as well as business and investment-related activities, caution is required when interpreting the statistics.