Growth of South Korean banks' lending to companies restored in April thanks to government credit guarantees, the central bank said Monday.
According to the Bank of Korea (BOK), local banks' outstanding loans to companies stood at 472.4 trillion won (381.6 billion U.S. dollars), marking a month-on-month increase of 3.22 trillion won (2.6 billion U.S. dollars).
The April rise compared with a 2.1 trillion-won (1.7 billion-U.S. dollar) increase in March, the central bank said.
The rise in loan growth comes as bank loans to smaller companies picked up with state-run agencies' providing loan guarantees, the BOK said.
Local banks' loans to smaller companies climbed by 3.2 trillion won (2.6 billion U.S. dollars) to come in at 412.3 trillion won (333.1 billion U.S. dollars), while those to larger companies marked an increase of mere 19.1 billion won (15.4 million U.S. dollars) to reach 60.1 trillion won (48.5 billion U.S. dollars, the BOK added.
The South Korean government has endeavored to help local lenders increase loans to smaller firms by providing credit guarantees as lenders stayed concerned over their financial health.