South Korean banks’ lending to households bounced back in April

ASIA: South Korean banks’ household lending rebounded in four months on expectations for a policy rate freeze in the foreseeable future, central bank data showed Thursday.

According to Xinhua, the Bank of Korea reported that the debts of South Korean households to deposit-taking banks increased by 2.3 trillion won (1.7 billion dollars) reaching 1,052.3 trillion won (796.2 billion U.S. dollars) as of April end.

It marked the first rebound in four months as expectations spread for the BOK refraining from hiking interest rates in the foreseeable future amid rising worry about an economic slowdown.

The BOK has kept its policy rate on hold at 3.50 percent since January after hiking it by 3.0 percentage points for the past one and a half years.

Banks’ mortgage loans expanded by 2.8 trillion won (2.1 billion dollars) last month due to the supply of government-backed mortgage loans to prop up the faltering housing market.

Other loans to households, including credit loans, credit lines, and commercial real estate-backed loans, retreated 500 billion won (378.3 million dollars) in April.

Bank’s corporate loans stood at 1,196.7 trillion won (905.5 billion dollars) at the end of April, up 7.5 trillion won (5.7 billion dollars) from a month earlier.

Lending to big companies increased by 3.1 trillion won (2.4 billion dollars), and loans to small firms expanded by 4.4 trillion won (3.3 billion dollars) last month.

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