Cross-border lending falls in Q2 of 2013

Cross-border lending falls in Q2 of 2013

Zurich (AFP) - Cross-border lending contracted in the second quarter of 2013, reined in by the US Federal Reserve's talk of tightening its monetary policy, the Bank for International Settlements said on Sunday.

The Swiss-based BIS said in its quarterly statistics that such loans fell by $515 billion (377 billion euros) across the quarter, 1.8 percent down on the previous three months.

As a result, cross-border loans stood at a total of $23.3 trillion at the end of June, down 1.2 percent from a year earlier.

The BIS, which is often dubbed the central bankers' central bank, said the loan slowdown went hand in hand with market volatility after the Federal Reserve signalled in May it could tighten monetary policy if the US unemployment rate fell.

Loans to emerging markets slowed markedly, growing by just 0.7 percent over April to June.

The first quarter had seen loans to emerging markets hit a record level, growing by 8.4 percent to reach $267 billion, with the BIS underlining that this was just the latest step in a long-term trend.

Brazil, China and Russia accounted for 85 percent of the growth.

Most affected by the second-quarter slowdown in emerging markets were Latin America and the Caribbean -- with loans to Brazil contracting by 6.2 percent.

Across other emerging market regions, cross-border loans remained largely stable, though there were marked difference between countries.

In Asia, notably, loans to India and South Korea both fell by 3.3 percent, but rose by 8.1 percent in China.

Powerhouse China received 21 percent of the globe's cross-border loans, up from 8.0 percent in 2007.

The BIS noted that the pace of growth in loans to China had nonetheless slowed.

In developed economies, the fall in credit mainly affected the non-banking sector, in the wake of a major expansion in the previous three quarters.

But banks were not untouched, with loans to British banks falling by 5.9 percent and those to their eurozone counterparts by 3.4 percent.

US banks were the exception that proved the rule, however, seeing loans rise by 11.0 percent.