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Banks' foreign-currency deposits tumble to 18-month low in March

All Headlines 13:59 April 15, 2019

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- The value of foreign currency deposits at South Korean banks tumbled to an 18-month low in March amid the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, central bank data showed Monday.

The outstanding amount of foreign currency savings held by local lenders came to US$67.15 billion at the end of March, down $6.53 billion from a month earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It was the smallest monthly tally since September 2017, when the balance reached $63.66 billion.

Banks' foreign-currency deposits tumble to 18-month low in March - 1

Foreign currency deposits include those held by foreigners who have stayed in South Korea for more than six months, as well as by foreign companies operating here.

The BOK said people sold the U.S. dollar as the greenback gained ground against the Korean won.

The Korean won finished at 1,135.1 won against the U.S. dollar on March 31, compared with 1,124.7 won on Feb. 28.

Deposits in U.S. dollars fell by $5.92 billion to a five-month low of $56.58 billion in March.

Overall, U.S. dollars accounted for 84.3 percent of all foreign currency deposits at local banks last month, followed by yen-denominated deposits at 6.2 percent and euro-denoted savings at 5.1 percent.

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