Asia Kicking Short-Term Borrowing Habit

Business Asia, June 28, 1999 | Go to article overview

Asia Kicking Short-Term Borrowing Habit


Asia's addiction to short-term capital has abated, as much due to a lack of new investment by Asian companies as to more conservative lending by international banks.

The latest annual report from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) showed total lending to Asia by G-10 banks fell 21.4 per cent to US$298 billion dollars at the end of 1998 compared to the end of 1997.

But in terms of loans up to and including one year in maturity, the lending was down to US$52.5 billion by the end of 1998 from US$60.3 billion for 1997.

"The good part of the BIS report is the reduction of BIS bank exposure to Asia and of that short-term debt has fallen precipitously," said Mr Stephen Taran, global head of Sovereign credit research at Salomon Smith Barney.

"If we talk about the six major borrowers in Asia, their short-term debt from the end of 1997 to what we have projected for the end of 1999 is a decline of US$80 billion," he said. …

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