Lending rates at South Korean banks slipped in April as corporate lending rates fell, central bank data showed Thursday.
The average rate for new loans to households and firms stood at 4.42 percent last month, down 0.04 percentage point from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea.
The central bank froze the key interest rate at 2.5 percent for the 12th straight month in May amid concerns the deadly sinking of the passenger ferry Sewol will crimp spending and consumer sentiment.
The average rate for corporate loans reached 4.51 percent last month, down 0.06 percentage point from the previous month. The corresponding rate for household lending fell 0.05 percentage point to 4.04 percent.
The average deposit rate stayed steady in April, remaining at 2.6 percent for the second month in a row, according to the data.
The data also showed that South Korean lenders' loan-deposit spread, a gauge of banks' profitability from lending, reached 1.82 percent in April, down 0.04 percentage point from a month earlier.