Foreign currency deposits held by banks in South Korea rose sharply from a month earlier in October, largely on local companies seeking to stash the US dollar at its weakest, central bank data showed Tuesday.
The outstanding foreign currency savings held by banks here came to $78.54 billion as of end-October, up $5.9 billion from a month earlier, according to the data from the Bank of Korea.
The reading marks the third consecutive month of increase, and also an acceleration from a $1.67 billion on-month rise the month before.
Foreign currency deposits include those held by foreigners who have stayed here for more than six months.
The increase came largely from a spike in savings held by companies, which jumped $4.83 billion to $61.84 billion as of end-October.
The BOK noted the companies may have sought to boost their foreign currency holdings, especially in the US dollar, as the US greenback sharply fell against the local currency during the month.
The Korean won traded for 1,196.2 won per dollar at end-September but at 1,163.4 won per dollar at end-October, it said.
Savings in US dollars surged $5.32 billion to $67.48 billion as of end-October, accounting for nearly 86 percent of all foreign currency savings here.
Savings held in Japanese yen gained some $140 million to $4.48 billion, with those held in Chinese yuan adding $90 million to $1.36 billion.
Foreign currency deposits held by local banks rose $4.66 billion to $65.71 billion, with those held by foreign banks here coming to $12.83 billion, up $1.24 billion from a month earlier. (Yonhap)