DUBLIN (Reuters) - International banking activity expanded for a second straight quarter between April and June with banks lending more to emerging markets, particularly China, and to investment funds in offshore centers such as the Cayman Islands, data showed on Monday.
Foreign lending to offshore centers rose to $2.269 trillion in the second quarter from $2.2 trillion in the first quarter with inflows to Cayman rising by 5 percent to $795 billion, according to figures released by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which tracks cross-border bank lending.
Foreign banks retrenched again from lending to Russia and Ukraine as Europe and the United States ratcheted up sanctions since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March.
Foreign lending to Russia stood at $207.63 billion at the end of June, down $1.5 billion during the quarter and down nearly $12 billion since the start of this year, according to the BIS data.
Lending to Ukraine by international banks stood at $20 billion at the end of June, down $2 billion during the second quarter and down $4 billion since the start of the year.
Reporting by Carmel Crimmins, editing by David Evans