Cross-border Lending Shows Smallest Growth in 13 Years

Cross-border lending of global banks increased at its lowest rate in 13 years in the third quarter of 2012, according to a report by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).


From June to September last year, the cross-border lending of banks that report to BIS rose by just US$33 billion, or 0.1 per cent, from the previous quarter.


The BIS explains that the modest increase was driven by lending to non-banks, especially in US dollars, British pounds and non-major currencies, which rose by US$153 billion, or 1.4 per cent.


That positive development was however countered by a fall of US$120 billion, or 0.7 per cent, in cross-border lending to banks.


"Claims denominated in euros fell the most, by US$127 billion," or 3.6 per cent, BIS said.


The BIS also noted in the report that cross-border lending had picked up slightly in developed economies, after three consecutive years of contracting.


Britain and the non-banking sector in the United States saw the biggest boost, while international lending shrank in nearly every country within the crisis-hit eurozone.


The BIS also pointed out in a statement that "strong demand from foreign investors led to a surge of activity in emerging corporate bond markets in 2012 and early 2013."


The BIS said that statistics on international debt securities showed that the stock of both financial and non-financial companies headquartered in emerging economies ran to more than US$1.6 trillion by the end of last year.


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