Diners Club International is restricting the use of its cards by Saudi Arabians because owners of the card franchise in their country have delayed payments to counterparts elsewhere.

A spokesman for the Citicorp unit said Diners Club had demanded a letter of credit from a group of private investors who control the franchise.

A Period of Arrears

The franchise has been in arrears "for a few days" on payments owed to Diners Club owners in other countries for debts accumulated by Saudi cardholders. As a result, Saudia Arabians have been prohibited from using their cards outside the nation since May 29.

There are fewer than 10,000 Diners Club cardholders in Saudi Arabia, a Citicorp spokeswoman said.

The ban will be lifted once Citicorp receives a letter of credit from the franchise owners.

"We've got some concerns, and this would resolve our concerns," the spokeswoman said. She added that Citicorp expected to receive the Saudi letter of credit shortly. Several other franchises operate with letter-ofcredit backing.

Separately, Citicorp said Diners Club holders would not be able to use their cards in Serbia and Montenegro because of United Nations sanctions against those areas.

-- Kelley Holland

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