The proportion of international business in the local banking sector dipped in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the latest information released by the Monetary Authority of Macao.

The share of international assets in total banking assets recorded in December 2018 decreased from 86 percent in September 2018 to 85.3 percent, whereas the share of international liabilities in total banking liabilities inched up from 81.1 percent to 81.2 percent.

Non-local currencies continued to be the dominant denominations in international banking transactions. At the end of the year, the shares of total international assets and total international liabilities denominated in patacas amounted to 0.8 percent each.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong dollar, the U.S. dollar and the RMB accounted for 43.6 percent, 44.8 percent, and 6.5 percent of total international assets respectively, as well as 49.8 percent, 39.1 percent, and 6.2 percent of total international liabilities respectively.

According to a statement from the Monetary Authority, the majority of external assets and liabilities continued to be linked to the Greater China region last year. At the end of December 2018, claims on Hong Kong and mainland China accounted for 34 percent and 33.5 percent of total external assets. Meanwhile, claims on Portuguese-speaking countries and countries along the Belt and Road Initiative constituted respective shares of 1.5 percent and 4.8 percent.

On external liabilities, Hong Kong and Mainland China accounted for 53.7 percent and 15.2 percent of the total respectively, while Portuguese-speaking countries and countries along the Belt and Road Initiative represented 0.6 percent and 12.4 percent respectively.