SEOUL: South Korea's industrial lending growth hit a record high in the first quarter as companies rushed to secure liquidity amid an economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak, central bank data showed Tuesday.
Financial institutions' lending to all industries totaled 1,259.2 trillion won (1.03 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of March, up 51.4 trillion won (41.9 billion U.S. dollars) from three months ago, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK), reports Xinhua.It was the biggest quarterly increase since relevant data began to be compiled in 2008.
Lending to the services industry stood at 776 trillion won (633.3 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of March, up 34 trillion won (27.7 billion U.S. dollars) from three months earlier. It was the fastest expansion since 2008.
Lending to the wholesale and retail and the lodging and eatery sectors expanded 12.2 trillion won (10 billion U.S. dollars) during the first quarter.
The services industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as people refrained from outside activities such as shopping, traveling and eating out.
Lending to the manufacturing industry came to 372 trillion won (303.6 billion U.S. dollars) as of end-March, up 14.8 trillion won (12.1 billion U.S. dollars) from three months earlier, marking the biggest quarterly growth since 2008.
Lending to the construction sector rose 1.4 trillion won (1.1 billion U.S. dollars) to 44.1 trillion won (36 billion U.S. dollars) in the cited period.