Outstanding loans reached $43.9 billion in 2011, rising $5.2 billion or 13.4 percent from the previous year, new data from the Central Bank showed this week. The value of housing loans advanced the most over the period, jumping 32.6 percent year-on-year to $5.98 billion and accounting for more than one quarter of the annual increase in total loans. As political tensions in 2011 kept investors wary of new projects, lending to businesses was much slower. Services and trade loans rose by 10.5 percent year-on-year to LL15.43 trillion. Loans to construction and manufacturing each climbed 13 percent year-on-year to $7.13 billion and $4.94 billion respectively, while loans to the agricultural sector increased by 16 percent year-on-year but remained relatively negligible at $426 million. With regard to the geographical distribution of loans, 56 percent of credit continued to be geared toward residents and entrepreneurs in the capital. From the daily star.