Highlights of the BIS international statistics

6 June 2011

The aggregate cross-border claims of BIS reporting banks declined during the fourth quarter of 2010, largely as a result of a significant fall in lending to residents of the euro area. By contrast, the cross-border claims of BIS reporting banks on residents of emerging market economies went up for the seventh quarter in a row. Most of the growth in the stock of international claims on residents of emerging market economies during the past couple of years has taken the form of shortterm lending.

Activity in the primary market for international debt securities increased in the first quarter of 2011. Completed gross issuance rose by 20% quarter-on-quarter to $2,127 billion, reflecting both a normal seasonal pickup and some increase in the underlying market activity. With somewhat higher repayments, net issuance picked up to $487 billion, from $299 billion in the previous quarter.

Notional amounts outstanding of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives rose by 3% in the second half of 2010, reaching $601 trillion at end-December. Much of the increase was a direct consequence of the appreciation of major currencies against the US dollar rather than larger positions in the contract currencies. Gross market values of all OTC contracts fell by 14% and gross credit exposures dropped by 7% to $3.3 trillion.