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Loans to firms, households accelerates in March

All News 08:57 April 02, 2020

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- Loans extended by five major banks in South Korea to businesses and households increased at a fast clip last month, data showed Thursday, amid growing economic fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak.

Outstanding loans extended by the five banks rose over 19.8 trillion won (US$16.2 billion) in March, marking the sharpest on-month gain since September 2015.

The five banks are Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Woori Bank, Hana Bank and NH.

The file photo, taken Jan. 16, 2020, shows a local consumer entering a bank in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Loans extended to companies jumped by more than 13.4 trillion won, compared with a 3.6 trillion-won increase in February.

Such a rise was largely attributed to a rare increase in loans extended to large conglomerates amid an apparent liquidity crunch sparked by the new coronavirus outbreak.

"Large conglomerates' use of credit line increased as they sought to prepare for maturing debts amid worsening conditions for corporate bonds," a bank official said.

Large conglomerates increased their borrowing by nearly 8.1 trillion won in March. The official noted the amount used to move at around 2 trillion won in any given month.

Household loans also increased at a fast pace.

Fresh loans extended to local households by the five banks came to 6.68 trillion won last month, marking the sharpest on-month gain since November 2015.

Home-backed loans went up 4.6 trillion won, also marking the largest on-month rise in more than four years since December 2015.


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