Cross-border lending by 122 major U.S. banks rose 12% to $289 billion over the 12 months ending Sept. 30, according to the latest Federal Reserve Board bulletin.

Much of the increase came from a strong surge in medium-term (one to five years) and long-term lending.

Short-term lending increased 8%, to $200 billion. Medium-term increased 27%, to $46.4 billion, and long-term 15%, to $42.8 billion.

By far the largest slice of cross-border loans were to industrialized European countries, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Loans to those countries totaled $120 billion and accounted for nearly 42% of the total.

Loans to Latin American and Caribbean countries, the second-biggest group, totaled $66.7 billion, followed by $30 billion in loans to Asian developing countries that don't produce oil and $30 billion in loans to offshore banking centers.

U.S. banks also held $11.5 billion in loans to oil-producing countries, $6.2 billion in loans to Eastern Europe, and $1.2 billion in loans to African developing countries without oil production.

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