Foreign currency deposits hit a record high in June

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Foreign currency deposits hit a record high in June

Foreign currency deposits at banks in Korea surged to a new record high in June, central bank data showed Wednesday, amid pandemic-caused uncertainties that pushed both businesses and individuals to boost their currency holdings.
Foreign currency deposits held by local residents came to $84.53 billion as of the end of June, up $3.61 billion from a month earlier, according to data from the Bank of Korea.
The amount marks the highest level since the bank began compiling data in June 2012.
"Considering that the country's economic size is unlikely to have been bigger prior to June 2012, we believe the amount is the highest in the country's history," a central bank official said.
Residents include foreign entities operating locally for more than six months.
Foreign currency deposits held by businesses rose $2.19 billion on-month to $67.13 billion in June, with savings held by individuals adding $1.42 billion to $17.4 billion over the cited period.
Savings in the dollar amounted to $73.46 billion as of the end of June, up $3.54 billion from a month earlier.
Such an increase comes during a period of increased volatility in the won-dollar exchange rate, while many apparently expect that the U.S. dollar may continue to strengthen down the road amid the pandemic-caused global slump.
At the end of June, the Korean won closed at 1,203.0 won against the dollar, down more than 3 percent from 1,160.5 won per dollar posted on Jan. 20 when Korea reported its first case of Covid-19.
Deposits held in euros came to $3.61 billion won as of the end of June, down $530 million from a month before.

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