SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- Loans extended by South Korean insurance companies rose 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter, but the loan default rate fell slightly, the financial regulator said Thursday.
Insurers' outstanding loans totaled 234.7 trillion won (US$191 billion) as of the end of December, up 5.4 trillion won from the end of September, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said in a statement.
Their loans to households increased 0.6 percent to 121.1 trillion won in the fourth quarter, mostly from loans backed by insurance premiums. Lending to companies climbed 4.3 percent to 113 trillion won during the same period, it said.
The loan delinquency rate, which measures the proportion of loan principal or unpaid interest for at least a month, came to 0.26 percent as of end-December, down 0.05 percentage point from a quarter earlier.
The figure for household loans fell 0.05 percentage point to 0.57 percent, while that for corporate lending declined 0.07 percentage point to 0.11 percent.
The ratio of nonperforming loans fell 0.02 percentage point to 0.17 percent in the fourth quarter from a quarter earlier, the FSS said.
It didn't provide the value of the nonperforming loans.
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