Foreign currency deposits at South Korean lenders fell for the first time in four months in October due to decreased dollar holdings amid the strengthening US greenback, central bank data showed Thursday, ending a three-month gaining streak that started in July.
South Korean banks held foreign currency deposits totaling $68.11 billion at the end of last month, down $5.52 billion from a month earlier, the Bank of Korea said.
Foreign currency deposits include those held by foreigners who have stayed in South Korea for more than six months, as well as by foreign companies operating here.
The BOK said the on-month decline came as a strong US dollar trend spurred businesses to sell dollar spots last month.
As a result, deposits in US dollars decreased $4.39 billion to $56.86 billion in October, with Japanese yen-denominated savings falling $640 million to $4.7 billion.
Overall, US dollars accounted for 83.5 percent of all foreign currency deposits at local banks last month, followed by yen-denominated deposits at 6.9 percent and euro-denoted savings at 4.8 percent.
By holder, companies held $54.62 billion in foreign currency deposits last month, down $4.69 billion from a month earlier, while deposits held by individuals shrank $830 million to total $13.49 billion, according to the data. (Yonhap)