Growth of Korea's assets slowed in 2019

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Growth of Korea's assets slowed in 2019

Korea's overall wealth grew at a slightly slower pace in 2019 compared to 2018, central bank data showed Tuesday, amid a prolonged decline in exports that kept the economy growing at the slowest pace in a decade.
The country's national assets came to 16,621.5 trillion won ($13.84 trillion) as of the end of last year, up 6.8 percent from a year earlier, according to the national balance sheet from the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The rise marks a slowdown from an 8.2 percent on-year increase in 2018 and 7.8 percent rise the year before.
The slower growth apparently stems, at least in part, from a sharp drop in exports.
The preliminary report is jointly compiled by the central bank and the statistics office.
Korea's exports had dipped for 14 consecutive months since December 2018 amid a prolonged trade dispute between the world's two largest economies — the United States and China — which are also Korea's largest trade partners.
With falling exports also limiting fresh investment here, the local economy grew 2 percent from a year earlier in 2019, the slowest since 2009 when Asia's fourth-largest economy expanded 0.8 percent on year.
Still, with the value of its national assets growing at a faster rate than that of its economy, the country's national assets came to be 8.7 times higher than its nominal GDP last year, compared with 8.2 times in 2018.
The BOK partly attributed the rise to an increase in financial assets, but also to a rise in the value of non-productive assets, such as land.
"The country's net financial assets gained $64.8 billion from a year earlier to $500.9 billion as of end-2019 on increased direct overseas investment and overseas stock investment," it said.
Korea's net financial assets amounted to about 580 trillion won as of end-2019, up 18.9 percent from a year before.
Its nonfinancial assets amounted to 16,041.5 trillion won, up 6.4 percent over the same period, with the value of its overall land growing 6.6 percent on year to some 8,767 trillion won, more than half of the country's total assets.
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