Foreign currency deposits at Korean banks hit an all-time high in August.
According to the report of foreign currency deposits in August, published by the Bank of Korea (BOK) on September 6, foreign currency deposits held by local residents reached US$41.2billion, an increase of US$4.45 billion compared to July. The August figure exceeded the prior record in October 2012 of US$39.39 billion.
In January, foreign currency deposits hit US$32.51 billion. But the amount has continued to grow for the third consecutive month since June. A BOK official said, "The increase in foreign currency deposits is attributable to a current account surplus, which stems from a positive trend in exports of large companies.”
Companies' holdings of foreign exchange deposits increased by US$4.1 billion in August from the previous month to reach a record high of US$36.56 billion, while those held by individuals gained US$350 million to reach US$4.46 billion.
Local banks accounted for 93.6% of the total foreign exchange deposits with US$38.39 billion. In contrast, the corresponding figures for the branches of foreign banks were only 6.4% with US$2.63.
Among major currencies, the US dollar made up 85.2% of foreign currency deposits with US$34.93 billion, followed by the euro with US$2.53 billion, and the Japanese yen with US$2.5 billion.