Bank and trade – related non -bank indebtedness in the Middle East and North Africa fell during 1995 to $138,700 million in December, compared with $ 146,700 million in the middle of the year and S 138,800 million at the end of 1994, according to a report prepared by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The figures exclude debt to multilateral agencies.

Turkey tops the table with external bank claims and non-bank credits totalling $27,726 million. Despite the fall in the overall figure, several countries showed large increases. In Bahrain, the figure increased by more than 27 per cent compared with the end of 1994; in Pakistan the increase was 24 per cent and in Lebanon it was 19 per cent.

Saudi Arabia was one of the few Middle Eastern countries to reduce its bank and traderelated non-bank credits. Improved oil earnings resulted in a 12.5 per cent reduction to the end of 1995, compared with the previous year.