South Korean banks' loan delinquency rate rebounded in July from an 18-month low in the previous month as local banks cleared smaller bad debt on a seasonal factor, the financial watchdog said Monday.
The overall delinquency rate of bank loans to companies and households came in at 1.06 percent as of the end of July, up 0.08 percentage point from a month earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
In June, the delinquency ratio hit the lowest level since December 2011. The rate is measured based on the principals of loans that went overdue for more than one day.
The FSS said that the amount of fresh bad debt increased in July after local banks wrote off more debts in arrears at the half-year.
Local banks disposed of 1.4 trillion won (US$1.3 billion) in bad debt in July with the soured debt reaching an outstanding 12 trillion won, the regulator said.
The delinquency rate for corporate loans climbed 0.09 percentage point on-month to 1.18 percent in July, led by increased risks in ailing shipbuilders and shippers.
The ratio for loans extended to those sectors jumped to 7.12 percent in July from 3.89 percent in June, mainly due to STX Pan Ocean Co.'s troubles.
STX Pan Ocean Co., the shipping unit of the cash-strapped STX Group, filed for a bankruptcy in early June due to a liquidity shortage.
The corresponding rate for household loans came in at 0.93 percent as of end-July, up from 0.86 percent in June, it added.
Local banks' won-denominated loans amounted to 1,136.7 trillion won in July, up 3.3 trillion won, or 0.3 percent, from the previous month.
The FSS said that it will continue to closely monitor local bank's financial health and to advise them to boost their loss-absorbing capacity as emerging market turmoil and shaky sectors could weigh on their operations.