EMA Syndicated Loans Down 38% in H1

(Reuters) – Lending in Europe, the Middle East and Africa continued to slump with a 38 percent drop at the half year to $327 billion compared with the first half of 2008, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.

The fall is the EMEA market’s second heavy consecutive fall at the half year stage and lending has now dropped 60.3 percent since peaking in the first half of 2007 at $821.8 billion.

Companies’ drive to diversify their debt with bond and equity issues led to continued contraction in the loan market, but activity and sentiment picked up towards the end of the second quarter. (Reporting by Tessa Walsh; Editing by David Holmes)