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S. Korean banks' foreign borrowing jumps in March

  South Korean banks' mid to long-term foreign borrowing jumped in March from the previous month as they braced for rising global uncertainties, the financial regulator said Monday. 

   Twelve local banks borrowed a total of $3.49 billion last month through overseas bond issuance and loans with a maturity over one year, $1.68 billion more than in February, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

   Out of the total mid to long-dated foreign borrowing in March, overseas bond sales accounted for $2.31 billion, compared with $1.13 billion in the previous month, the FSS said.

   Inter-bank borrowing reached $1.18 billion last month, compared with $690 million in February, it added.

   Local banks' short-term foreign borrowing also gathered ground last month with 16 local banks' short-dated rollover rate jumping to 121.6 percent from 88 percent in February, the watchdog said.

   The ratio measures the percentage of a bank's new foreign borrowing against foreign currency debts that mature in one year or less.

   "Banks' short and long-term foreign borrowing both gathered ground sharply as they stepped up risk management of foreign currency liquidity amid Middle East political unrest and Japan's earthquake," the FSS said.

(Yonhap News)

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