OPEC countries drew down $13,000 million from deposits with international banks in the first half of 1993, but reported little fresh borrowing in the same period, according to a report by the Basle-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The report, published in January 1994, also noted a shortening of the maturity profile for fresh borrowing in these countries.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar were major recipients of banking funds, borrowing $800 million and $600 million, respectively. However, the amount Saudi Arabia received in loans was balanced by fresh deposits made during the period, and the kingdom’s net positive balance remained at $54,600 million.

Despite the general shortening of loan maturity profiles in OPEC countries, Iran, Kuwait and Algeria were exceptions to the trend during the first half of last year, the report says. In these countries, the proportion of loans maturing up to and including one year fell. The contraction in Iran was due to the country’s payment difficulties, which has led to a drying up of trade credits and curtailed guarantees by foreign official agencies, the report says.

Outside OPEC, overall claims by banks on Turkey, a major regional borrower, increased by $1,700 million to $17,300 million in the first half of 1993. The new credits plus the $1,100 million Turkey drew from its deposits with banks were roughly the same as the current account deficit for the first half of 1993. Egypt and Morocco both reduced their borrowing from international banks during the period. Claims on Egypt were reduced by $500 million to $3,600 million, and on Morocco claims fell by $300 million to $4,600 million. Egypt also increased its deposits by $300 million to $22,600 million.