Foreign-currency deposits held by South Korean banks increased by the biggest margin in seven months in June as companies held onto U.S. dollars on appreciation in the greenback.
According to data released by the Bank of Korea (BOK) on Monday, foreign-currency deposits stood at $70.38 billion as of end of June, up $4.77 billion from the end of May. It is the biggest increase since $6.94 billion gain in November, last year.
Foreign currency savings held by Korean banks include those of Korean individuals and companies, foreigners who have stayed in Korea for six months or longer and foreign companies operating in the country.
Dollar-denominated holdings, which account for the largest share of total deposits, added $4.25 billion from May to $59.9 billion in June. Dollar holdings increased last month as export companies held off selling back dollars they received as payments.
The dollar rose from 1,154.7 won at the end of May to 1,190.9 won by the end of June.
Individuals sold off dollar holdings to benefit from the favorable rate.
BOK data also showed that deposits in yen amounted to $4.16 billion as of end of June, up $290 million from the end of May, as companies increased spot exchange sales. Euro-denominated savings rose $220 million to $3.39 billion during the same period. Yuan-denominated deposits, meanwhile, dropped $90 million to $1.35 billion.
By holder, companies held $55.67 billion in foreign-currency deposits, up $3.94 billion during the same period, and individuals $14.71 billion, up $830 million, data showed.
By Lee Yu-sup and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]