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Growth of S. Korean bank loans to firms picks up in Oct.
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09:07, November 07, 2008

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The growth of South Korean bank loans picked up in October on the back of the government's measures to offer liquidity to cash-strapped small and medium companies, the nations central bank said Thursday.

According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), outstanding bank loans to large and smaller firms gained 7.5 trillion won (5.7 billion U.S. dollars) in October from a month earlier, reaching 463.1 trillion won (352.4 billion U.S. dollars).

Lending to larger companies gained 5 trillion won (3.8 billion U.S. dollars) to 61.6 trillion (46.9 billion U.S. dollars) won last month, while lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) increased by 2.6 trillion won (1.97 billion U.S. dollars) to 401.5trillion won (305.5 billion U.S. dollars), the BOK said.

Meanwhile, household loans also increased by 1.4 trillion won (1.06 billion U.S. dollars) in October to 385 trillion won (292.9 billion U.S. dollars), slowing from a 2.1 trillion won (1.6 billion U.S. dollars) advance in September, it said.

Bank deposits reached to 908.8 trillion won (691.6 billion U.S. dollars) in last month up 21.8 trillion won (16.6 billion U.S. dollars) from the previous month, the central bank said.

The BOK added that the growth of bank deposits hit a 6-month high in October due to local lenders who sold more products carrying higher-than-average interest rates and the slumping stock market.

Source: Xinhua

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