South Korean banks’ corporate lending

South Korean banks’ corporate lending jumped in April as local lenders made efforts to draw large corporate clients with sound creditworthiness, data showed Wednesday.

Corporate loans extended by five local lenders, including Kookmin Bank, amounted to 358 trillion won (US$ 332.8 billion) as of the end of April, up 5.9 trillion won from the previous month, according to industry data.

Bank lending to larger firms rose by 3.2 trillion won on-month to 58.2 trillion won, the data showed. It marked the first time that the monthly growth of such lending topped 3 trillion won since the end of 2008.

Loans to smaller firms came in at 299.8 trillion won as of end-April, up 2.7 trillion won from the previous month. The April growth slowed from a 2.81 trillion won expansion registered in March.

The local financial system is flooded with ample liquidity, which has expanded by low rates and continued dollar inflows from exports. But local banks are still wary of extending loans by selectively lending money to borrowers with high credit ratings or collaterals.

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