Chinese yuan-denominated deposits in South Korea hit a record high as local branches of Chinese banks offered higher deposit rates compared with domestic banks, central bank data showed Friday.
Yuan deposits by local residents reached 21.7 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of October, up 1.35 billion dollars from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). Local residents mean foreigners who stay here for six months and more, foreign companies doing business here and South Koreans.
The October figure accounted for 32.7 percent of the total deposits denominated in foreign currencies, breaching the previous record high of 32 percent tallied in September.
The yuan deposit portion continued to rise after topping 10 percent last December. The ratio exceeded 20 percent in June this year and 30 percent in September respectively.
Deposits denominated in the U.S. dollar increased 1.22 billion dollars from a month earlier to 38.44 billion dollars as of end- October, but the portion of the dollar deposits declined to the record low of 57.9 percent.
The continued growth in yuan deposits came as Seoul branches of Chinese banks offered a relatively higher rate of deposits. Deposits rates by domestic banks fell as the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2 percent in October after lowering it by 25 basis points to 2.25 percent in August.
Foreign currency-denominated deposits reached 66.41 billion dollars at the end of October, up 2.73 billion dollars from a month earlier.
The euro deposits were 2.47 billion dollars, taking up 3.7 percent of the total. The Japanese yen deposits stood at 2.54 billion dollars, accounting for 3.8 percent of the total.