Foreign currency deposits hit all-time high in December on dollar savings

January 25, 2023

Foreign currency deposits at banks in South Korea hit an all-time high in December, as corporate dollar savings increased, central bank data showed Wednesday.

Residents’ outstanding foreign currency-denominated deposits had come to US$110.98 billion as of end-December, up $3.59 billion from the previous month, according to the data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

This marked the largest amount since related data started to be compiled in June 2012. It also marked the fourth straight month of an increase.

Residents include local citizens, companies, foreigners staying here for more than six months and foreign firms. The data excludes interbank foreign currency deposits.

December’s rise came as dollar savings increased for business operation and foreign direct investment, the BOK said.

Dollar savings increased $1.86 billion on-month to $95.38 billion at the end of December, the data showed. Dollar savings accounted for 85.9 percent of total foreign deposits.

Corporate foreign currency savings amounted to $96.10 billion in December, up $3.28 billion from a month earlier. Individuals’ foreign currency savings were also up $310 million to $14.88 billion, the data showed.