Card loans swing to upturn in Q3
Published : Nov 21, 2017 - 09:22
Updated : Nov 21, 2017 - 09:22
South Korean credit card firms saw their card loans pick up in the third quarter from a slight decline three months earlier, industry data showed Tuesday.
The country's six stand-alone card firms -- Shinhan, KB, Woori, Hana, Samsung and Lotte -- extended 9.4 trillion won ($8.6 billion) in combined card loans in the July-September period, up 7.2 percent from a year earlier.
The figure marks a turnaround from a slight fall in the previous quarter. Card loans edged down 0.4 percent on-year in the April-June period.
Samsung Card posted the largest increase rate of 14.2 percent by extending card loans of 1.7 trillion won.
In the first three quarters of the year, their combined card loans climbed 4.3 percent on-year to 27.3 trillion won, compared with an increase of near 10 percent a year earlier.
Market watchers attributed the lower growth rate to a government push to curb snowballing household debt, which analysts say is a time bomb for Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Credit card firms are widely expected to scale back card loans next year as the legal maximum interest rate will be cut to 24 percent from the current 27.9 percent, forcing card firms to lower interest rates.
South Korea has been dogged by snowballing household debt, which is estimated at around 1,400 trillion won and remains a bugbear for policymakers. (Yonhap)
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