Bankruptcies fall in January as banks ease lending terms

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Bankruptcies fall in January as banks ease lending terms

The number of Korean corporate bankruptcies fell in January from the previous month as financial institutions increased lending to small firms ahead of a major holiday, the central bank said yesterday.

The number of companies that went belly-up reached 103 in January, down from 128 in December, the Bank of Korea said. The figure was the lowest since 97 corporate bankruptcies in September of last year.

“Before the Lunar New Year holidays, financial institutions extend more loans to small and medium enterprises, which reduces business failures,” a BOK official said.

The number of start-ups also declined last month from a month earlier, but was still higher than one year earlier as the increasing number of baby boomers started new businesses after their retirements.

There were 6,005 newly established companies in January, down from a record high of 6,645 the previous month.

The default rate of corporate bills - bonds, checks and promissory notes - stayed unchanged at 0.02 percent for the third straight month in January, according to the BOK.

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