Loans extended to local businesses rose slightly in the first quarter from a quarter earlier on increased operating expenses and facility investments, central bank data showed Monday.
Outstanding corporate loans came to 1,001.7 trillion won ($894 billion) in the January-March period, up 1.6 percent from a quarter earlier, according to data from the Bank of Korea.
Compared to a year earlier, the first quarter figure marked a 4.4 percent gain.
In terms of where the money was spent, loans extended to cover companies' operating expenses were up 1.2 percent in the first quarter to 596.8 trillion won from a quarter earlier, the bank said.
Loans for facility investments rose 2.3 percent in the first quarter to 404.9 trillion won from a quarter earlier, and up 11.7 percent from a year earlier, it said.
By sector, loans to service sector firms jumped 8 percent year-over-year to 577.4 trillion won at the end of March. Loans to manufacturers came to 330.5 trillion won at the end-March, up 0.4 percent from a year earlier.
The latest findings showed borrowings by construction firms rose 0.2 percent year-over-year to 39.5 trillion won, the data showed. (Yonhap)