Saudi Arabia drew down sharply on funds deposited with commercial banks in the third quarter of 1995, while commercial lending to the kingdom remained stable, according to figures released by the Basle-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Official deposits with commercial banks by Middle East states fell 3 per cent during the third quarter to $206,514 million at the end of September 1995. although borrowing by Middle East countries also fell during the same period to $77,892 million.

Saudi Arabia’s deposits with commercial banks fell by 11 per cent to $59,150 million in the third quarter. This followed a 17 per cent increase in deposits by the kingdom during the first half of 1995 to $66,365 million. Deposits with commercial banks by other Gulf states also fell in the same period. Bahrain’s deposits fell by 14 per cent in the last quarter of 1995 to $16,813 million.

Turkey’s position with commercial banks improved during the third quarter to reach $24,560 million, 11 per cent higher than at the end of June 1995.

Commercial bank lending to Lebanon showed the biggest increase during the third quarter among Middle East states.

Lending to the republic rose 13 per cent to $2,212 million at the end of September 1995.