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LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, Korea

Korea's household loans soar in June

Household lending among South Korean banks went up last month due to lower borrowing costs and local lenders'efforts to expand loans.

According to figures by the Bank of Korea, household loans, including home-backed lending by domestic banks, reached an outstanding 443.2 trillion won or US$417.2 billion as of the end of June, up 3.4 trillion won from a month earlier.

The June expansion was larger than a 3.3 trillion won rise in May, and marked the largest monthly gain since 4.1 trillion won tallied for November 2010.

Mortgage loans by local banks came to 295.4 trillion won at the end of June, up 2.3 trillion won from the previous month. Home-backed lending, including loans sold by banks to the state-run Korea Housing Finance Corp., grew by 2.7 trillion won last month.

The BOK attributed the mortgage loan increase to lower lending rates and banks' efforts to expand their lending ahead of half-year performance assessments.

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