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Corporate debt sales dip 25.4% in March over uncertainty

Debt sales by South Korean companies dipped 25.4 percent on-month in March, as economic uncertainties limited corporate borrowing, data showed Tuesday.

Although South Korea's exports have been showing signs of a moderate recovery, the nation's economy is confronting the prospects of protectionism by the Donald Trump administration and China's apparent economic retaliation over the deployment of an advanced US missile system in South Korea.

A computer graphic image representing corporate bonds. (Yonhap)
A computer graphic image representing corporate bonds. (Yonhap)

South Korean firms issued bonds worth 10.3 trillion won ($9.05 billion) last month, compared with 13.8 trillion won worth of bonds issued in February, according to the data by the Financial Supervisory Service.

Sales of debts by nonfinancial firms plunged 50.1 percent on-month to 2.4 trillion won in March, the FSS data showed.

Sales of debts by financial firms also fell 12.2 percent on-month to 6.6 trillion won in March.

Most new debts were aimed at rolling over or repaying maturing debts more cheaply, the FSS said.

Last week the Bank of Korea kept its interest rate unchanged for the 10th straight month at a record low of 1.25 percent.

However, the central bank slightly upgraded its outlook for 2017 growth to 2.6 percent, from a projection of 2.5 percent growth announced in January.

In March, sales of new stocks stood at 979.3 billion won, up 292.2 percent from a month earlier, the FSS said.

Five firms raised a total of 80.5 billion won last month through initial public offerings, while new stock sales stood at 898.8 billion won last month, it showed. (Yonhap)

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