(Repeats, without changes, story first published on Sunday)
* Early warning indicators show "worrying" signs - BIS
* Credit-to-GDP gap points to risks in many countries
ZURICH, June 29 Regulators should not dismiss
"worrying" early signs of unsustainable property price and
credit growth, which could leave borrowers vulnerable to
interest rate rises or sharp downturns, the BIS said on Sunday.
The Bank for International Settlements, the global forum for
central banks, said rock-bottom official interest rates, slashed
to revive sluggish economies, have contributed to a boom in
lending and real estate prices in some countries.
While the ECB has cut rates to record lows and decided to
pump money into the euro zone economy, the U.S. Federal Reserve
has hinted at interest rate hikes starting next year.
"Several early warning indicators signal that
vulnerabilities have been building up in the financial systems
of several countries," the BIS said in its annual report.
While no early warning indicator is completely reliable,
dismissing such readings as inappropriate would be too easy, it
In many emerging market economies and Switzerland the
credit-to-GDP gap, measuring the current ratio against its
long-term trend, is "well above the threshold that indicates
trouble", the Basel-based bank said.
The gap between real residential property prices and their
long-term trend also suggests risks are accumulating in the
housing sector, it said.
Swiss banks will tighten requirements for mortgage loans
after repeated warnings from Switzerland's central bank and the
International Monetary Fund that ultra-low interest rates,
immigration and the country's safe-haven appeal for financial
investors is feeding a property bubble.
Switzerland became the first country to activate a
counter-cyclical capital buffer last year, forcing banks to hold
extra capital against their mortgage books.
A combination of interest rate policy and macro-prudential
tools would help countries tackle rising property prices more
effectively than using just one approach, BIS chief economist
Hyun Song Shin told Reuters in an interview.
Rising rates would push the debt service ratios - the share
of income used to service debt - of several countries into
critical territory, the BIS said, adding that borrowers in China
were currently seen as most vulnerable.
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)