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Global financing boom in the first half Back  
The Bank for International Settlements has said there was ‘extraordinarily intense activity’ in the international banking market in the first quarter of 2000. In its latest quarterly publication, the BIS said that the main impetus for the $321 billion total interbank lending in the period was strong demand for financing in Europe, particularly by telecomms firms.

To meet the demand, BIS analysts say, ‘international banks re-channelled funds through various banking centres around the world, in the process causing interbank balance sheets to grow sharply.’ This was the highest level of interbank lending since the fourth quarter of 1997.
Part of the rise in interbank flows may have been reflected business that had been deferred to guard against possible Y2K disruptions, the BIS report added.

The second quarter of 2000 was also the most active since 1997 for international syndicated loans, with a total reported by BIS of $297 billion announced new facilities. While the number of deals was down 50 per cent on the first quarter, the size of telecommunications financing made up the increase in value. The largest deal was the $16 billion commercial paper backup facility for British Telecom.

The BIS quarterly report also noted Irish residential and commercial property price increases in the context of analysis internationally of asset prices. But no additional data was presented either in relation to the inflation-adjusted residential property price increases of 76 p.c. between 1995 and 1999 and Dublin commercial property increases of 170 per cent. The BIS also noted credit growth in the Irish economy alongside a similar phenomenon in the Netherlands, Spain and the US and other countries, but concluded only that ‘developments warrant close monitoring’.

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