S. Korean banks’ loan delinquency ratio rises in July

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SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — South Korean banks’ loan delinquency ratio rose in July owing to higher new delinquent loans than bad loan settlement, financial watchdog data showed Tuesday.

Bank loans overdue at least one month came in at 0.39 percent of the total at the end of July, up 0.04 percentage points from a month earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service.

New delinquent loans amounted to 2.0 trillion won (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the month, higher than the settlement of non-performing loans worth 1.1 trillion won (831.1 million dollars).

After hitting a bottom at 0.20 percent in June last year, the delinquency ratio has been roughly on the rise.

The central bank had left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3.50 percent since January, after lifting it by 3.0 percentage points for the past one and a half years.

Excluding the settled bad loans, the delinquency ratio for fresh bank loans reached 0.09 percent in July, unchanged from the previous month.

The delinquency ratio for bank corporate loans gained 0.04 percentage points from a month earlier to 0.41 percent at the end of July, while the ratio for household loans added 0.03 percentage points to 0.36 percent.

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