South Koreans\' holdings of overseas securities advanced in 2012 from four years earlier, data showed Friday, due mainly to low interest rates and favorable foreign exchange market conditions. The value of foreign securities held by local investors reached US$116.5 billion in 2012, compared to $93.8 billion tallied in 2008, when the U.S. financial crisis dented investors\' sentiment, the Bank of Korea data showed. The figure came to $130.8 billion at end-July this year, maintaining its stable growth. South Korea\'s central bank said investors\' appetite for foreign assets increased due to the country\'s low interest rates and improved liquidity in the foreign exchange market amid robust trade balance. South Korea\'s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged for the fourth straight month in September amid growing speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve may taper its monetary stimulus. The central bank froze the benchmark seven-day repo rate, dubbed the base rate, at 2.5 percent, as widely expected. South Korea\'s current account surplus narrowed in August from the previous month on smaller trade gains, but it logged a surplus for the 19th straight month, separate central bank\'s data also showed. The current account surplus reached $5.74 billion in August, down from $6.77 billion the previous month. The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade.