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--Apr Mortgage Approvals 66,261 Vs 62,559 Sep 
     By Irene Prihoda and Les Commons
     London (MNI) - The number of mortgages approved rose to its highest 
level since January while average rates on "shop window" mortgages edged 
higher, Bank of England data published Friday showed. 
     The following are key points from the data: 
     -The number of mortgage approvals rose to 66,261 in April from a 
revised  62,559 in March, the highest reading since the 66,861 
registered in January. Mortgage approvals are usually a reliable 
indicator of housing market activity in the months ahead, and these data 
point to an uptick in house purchases.
     -Net mortgage lending rose stg4.3 billion in April, outpacing the 
6-month average of stg3.8 billion.
     - Consumer credit bounced back modestly in April, higher by stg 
0.942 billion against an upwardly revised stg0.631 billion in March. 
     -UK businesses raised stg5.7 billion of net finance in April, 
driven by bank borrowing and bond issuance. 
     - Bank lending increased by an annualised 3.2% in April, reflecting 
strong monthly flow, the BOE said.Lending to large businesses increased 
4.9%, above the 4.5% 6-month average. Lending to SMEs increased by 0.2% 
over the period.
[TOPICS: M$B$$$,M$$BE$,MABPR$,MT$$$$]
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