According to the statistics released today by the Monetary Authority of Macao, the proportion of international business in the local banking sector rebounded in the first quarter of 2019. At end-March 2019, the share of international assets in total banking assets increased to 86.1% from 85.2% at end-December 2018, while the share of international liabilities in total banking liabilities rose to 82.0% from 81.1%.
Non-local currencies continued to be the dominant denomination in international banking transactions. At end-March 2019, the shares of the pataca in total international assets and total international liabilities were 0.7% and 0.9% respectively. The Hong Kong dollar, the US dollar, the renminbi and other foreign currencies accounted for 39.5%, 45.9%, 9.1% and 4.7% of total international assets as well as 47.2%, 40.1%, 7.8% and 4.0% of total international liabilities respectively.
International Banking Assets
At end-March 2019, total international assets increased by 8.1% from a quarter ago and by 20.6% from a year earlier to MOP1,647.2 billion (USD203.7 billion). Within this total, external assets went up by 24.3% year-on-year to MOP1,246.5 billion while local assets in foreign currencies also advanced by 10.3% to MOP400.7 billion. As a major component of international assets, external non-bank loans increased by 23.5% to MOP574.5 billion.
International Banking Liabilities
Total international liabilities increased by 8.3% from three months ago and by 22.3% year-on-year to MOP1,569.8 billion (USD194.1 billion). Of this total, external liabilities and local liabilities in foreign currencies expanded year-on-year by 29.2% to MOP805.4 billion and 15.8% to MOP764.3 billion respectively. Foreign currency deposits held by residents and the MSAR government in local banks continued to form a major component of international liabilities. This type of deposits grew by 15.8% year-on-year to MOP675.6 billion at end-March 2019.
Breakdown of External Banking Assets and Liabilities by Region
The majority of external assets and liabilities were related to Asia and Europe. At end-March 2019, claims on Mainland China and Hong Kong occupied 38.0% and 27.8% of total external assets, while claims on Germany and Portugal took up 1.7% and 1.0% respectively. Meanwhile, claims on Portuguese-speaking countries and countries along the “Belt and Road” occupied respective shares of 1.4% and 6.3%. On external liabilities, Hong Kong and Mainland China accounted for 51.2% and 19.5% of the total respectively, while the United Kingdom and France took up 2.6% and 1.0% respectively. Portuguese-speaking countries and countries along the “Belt and Road” represented 0.5% and 12.4% respectively.
The compilation of International Banking Statistics follows the methodology advocated by the Bank for International Settlements in order to facilitate Macao SAR’s participation in the “Locational International Banking Statistics” project of the international organisation.