Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. and Manufacturers Hanover Bank today each reported that their experience on international loans has been better than on their domestic loans.
Elmore C. Patterson, chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co., holding company for Morgan Guaranty, told his firm's annual meeting that loans charged off in 1976 totaled $53 million, but "of these only about $9 million were international loans." And in 1975 Morgan charged off $84 million in loan losses, but less than $7 million were international.
And Manufacturers Hanover, in its annual report, disclosed that net loan charge-offs on its $9.2 billion international loan portfolio were $1.1 million last year and averaged less than $1 million annually over the last five years.
There has been considerable controversy recently over whether the big multinational banks have gotten in over their heads in their international lending, particularly in loans to developing countries, which are running big deficits because of their oil import bills.
"It is fair to ask, of course, whether the good experience we have had to date in lending to the developing world will hold up in the future," Patterson told the Morgan meeting. "We believe it will, but we are not complacent about it."
At the bank's annual meeting, a shareholder proposal that Morgan stop accepting or precessing any letter of credit in furtherance of the Arab League boycott of Israel was overwhelmingly defeated, as was another proposal that called on the bank not to make any more loans to the Republic of South Africa as long as its government maintains the racial policy of apartheid.
Of the approximately 29 million votes cast, only 2.68 per cent were in favor of the Arab boycott proposal backed by the American Jewish Committee. And the proposal on South Africa, submitted by several church groups, received only 2.81 per cent favorable votes.
It was the first year either resolution was up for consideration by Morgan shareholders.