Foreign currency deposits at banks rebound

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Foreign currency deposits at banks rebound

Foreign currency deposits at Korean banks rebounded after four consecutive months of losses in July from a month earlier on an increase in euro holdings by companies, central bank data showed Thursday.

Foreign currency deposits at local banks totaled $68.51 billion at the end of last month, up $890 million from a month earlier, according to the data compiled by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The July figure marked a turnaround from a four-month losing streak that started in April amid a strengthening U.S. dollar trend. The sharpest-ever on-month drop of $67.6 billion was recorded in June.

Foreign deposits include those held by foreigners who have stayed in South Korea for more than six months, as well as by foreign companies operating here.

The BOK said some businesses increased their euro-denominated savings to secure funds for overseas takeover.

Accordingly, deposits in euros rose $670 million to $4.28 billion in July, while U.S.-dollar-denominated deposits edged up $50 million to $56.7 billion.

Overall, U.S. dollars accounted for 82.8 percent of all foreign currency deposits at local banks in July, followed by yen-denominated deposits at 6.5 percent and euro-denominated deposits at 6.2 percent.

By holders, companies held $54.71 billion in foreign currency deposits last month, up $1.36 billion from a month earlier, while deposits held by individuals fell $470 million to $13.8 billion last month.

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