SEOUL, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Foreign currency loans extended by South Korean banks rose in the first half of this year due to demand from shipbuilders, financial watchdog data showed Tuesday.
Outstanding foreign currency loans owed by local residents to banks were 31.21 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of June, up 1. 28 billion dollars from six months earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service.
Loans denominated in U.S. dollars surged 4.08 billion dollars in the first half as shipbuilders won many orders under conditions that most export proceeds would be paid near the delivery date.
However, loans denominated in Japanese yen declined 2.83 billion dollars in the first half as local residents repaid such debts amid the devaluation of the Japanese currency against the dollar.
Rates for the dollar- and yen-denominated loans averaged 2.84 percent and 3.5 percent as of the end of June, down 0.39 percentage points and 0.32 percentage points each from six months earlier.
The ratio of delinquent loans denominated in foreign currencies was 0.84 percent at the end of June, up 0.01 percentage point from six months before.