In an effort to cash in on the booming economies of the developing world, Bank of Montreal announced last week it would increase by 60% the funds available for project finance and short-term and medium-term trade finance in those areas.

The bank previously had only $3.7 billion available to clients interested in trade or deals in 64 designated countries.

Bank of Montreal, however, said it would make available another $2.2 billion for expanded financing capacity in 29 of those countries in Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

"This expansion in our country trade and project finance limits is very much client driven," said Jeff Chisholm, Bank of Montreal's vice chairman.

"Increasingly, the bank's clients view the world as their market marked not by geographical boundaries but by the forces of supply and demand," he said. "Their financial services needs are becoming international and they are asking for the bank's support abroad, particularly for longer-term trade and project finance."

The vice chairman stressed the bank would not reduce credit standards in extending the funds, and the bank would not do sovereign lending.

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