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Korean households' net lending shrinks in Q1

Net lending by South Korean households fell in the first quarter from a quarter earlier due to the increased purchase of houses, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The net lending, which reflects available funds and takes into account savings, the value of acquisitions and capital used, came to 14.1 trillion won ($12.3 billion) as of end-March, compared to 19.2 trillion won from three months earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea. The numbers are for local households and nonprofit organizations such as consumer groups, charity and relief organizations, religious groups and labor unions.

The on-quarter decrease came as people here bought new houses, taking advantage of low interest rates.

Last month, the BOK unanimously voted to keep the key rate at 1.25 percent, extending its wait-and-see approach for the 11th consecutive month.

In the January-March period, the amount of fresh funds raised, mostly borrowed, by households and nonprofit organizations came to 21 trillion won, compared to 48.4 trillion won from three months earlier, according to the BOK.

The amount raised by nonfinancial local companies came to 4.3 trillion won, down from 49.8 trillion won over the cited period.

The net lending by the central and local governments came to 6.6 trillion won as of end-March, down from 7.5 trillion won in the previous quarter.

As of end-March, the country's overall financial assets were valued at 15,688 trillion won, up 248.7 trillion won from three months earlier. (Yonhap)

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