International banking statistics – March 2021

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 2021. At end-March 2021, the share of international assets in total banking assets increased to 85.5% from 85.1% at end-December 2020, while the share of international liabilities in total banking liabilities rose to 82.6% from 82.3%.

Non-local currencies continued to be the dominant denomination in international banking transactions. At end-March 2021, both the shares of the pataca in total international assets and total international liabilities were 0.6%. The Hong Kong dollar, the US dollar, the renminbi and other foreign currencies accounted for 33.2%, 44.7%, 16.8% and 4.7% of total international assets while their respective shares in total international liabilities were 40.7%, 40.8%, 13.8% and 4.1%.

International Banking Assets

At end-March 2021, total international assets increased by 5.9% from a quarter ago and by 10.0% from a year earlier to MOP2,001.4 billion (USD249.9 billion). Within this total, external assets went up by 11.2% year-on-year to MOP1,526.7 billion while local assets in foreign currencies also increased by 6.1% to MOP474.7 billion. As a major component of international assets, external non-bank loans advanced by 16.1% to MOP705.8 billion.

International Banking Liabilities

Total international liabilities increased by 5.7% from three months ago and by 10.1% year-on-year to MOP1,932.3 billion (USD241.3 billion). Of this total, external liabilities and local liabilities in foreign currencies expanded year-on-year by 16.5% to MOP1,096.2 billion and 2.8% to MOP836.1 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 rose by 0.6% year-on-year to MOP706.5 billion at end-March 2021.

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 2021, claims on Mainland China and Hong Kong occupied 42.8% and 26.6% of total external assets, while claims on Portugal and Germany took up 1.0% and 0.9% respectively. Meanwhile, claims on Portuguese-speaking countries and countries along the “Belt and Road” occupied respective shares of 1.4% and 8.1%. On external liabilities, Hong Kong and Mainland China accounted for 39.5% and 32.8% of the total respectively, while the United Kingdom and France took up 5.3% and 4.7% respectively. Portuguese-speaking countries and countries along the “Belt and Road” represented 0.8% and 8.2% 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.

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