South Korea’s current account surplus, a key barometer of the nation’s trade, surpassed $10 billion for two consecutive months and hit a three-year high in October, the central bank said Friday. The surplus increased 48.9 percent on-year to $11.6 billion in October on the back of recovering exports, despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Bank of Korea. It marked the largest surplus since September 2017, when the corresponding figure stood at $12.3 billion, and the t
The number of working mothers with underage children fell by the most during the six-month period ending in April as the job market remained sluggish amid the new coronavirus outbreak, data showed Friday. The number of working mothers with children aged under 18 reached 2.67 million as of end-April, down 5.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data by Statistics Korea. It marked the sharpest decline since 2016, when the statistics agency began compiling related data. The fall was ma
Foreign ownership of South Korean land rose 1.2 percent in the first half of 2020 from the end of 2019, the land ministry said Friday. Foreigners owned 251.6 square kilometers -- slightly more than four times the size of Manhattan -- at the end of June. It represents 0.25 percent of South Korea's total land area, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement. The value of land held by foreigners increased 1.4 percent to 31.21 trillion won ($28 billion) over the cited
South Korea's current account surplus hit a three-year high in October as exports showed signs of a modest recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic, the central bank said Friday. The current account surplus reached $11.66 billion in October, widening from a surplus of $10.13 billion the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The current account is the broadest measure of cross-border trade. It marked the largest surplus since September 2017. Since the country logged a deficit o
Online shopping in South Korea grew 20 percent in October from a year earlier as the new coronavirus outbreak prompted people to buy goods via e-commerce platforms, data showed Thursday. The value of online transactions stood at 14.2 trillion won ($12.9 billion) in October, compared with 11.9 trillion won the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea. The use of online shopping has been on the rise this year amid the pandemic as people refrained from visiting offline stores on
South Korea plans to nurture 100,000 talented individuals in the artificial intelligence (AI) sector by 2025 by supporting related graduate schools and colleges centering on software development, the finance minister said Thursday. Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki also said the country plans to spend more than 23 billion won ($21 million) next year to support software firms' marketing in and forays into overseas markets. "Through AI-related graduate schools and colleges focusing on software d
Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea rose 7.5 percent in November from a year earlier due to strong demand for German cars, an industry association said Thursday. The number of newly registered foreign vehicles climbed to 27,436 units last month from 25,514 a year earlier despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement. From January to November, foreign carmakers sold 243,440 autos, up 13 percent from 214,780 in the
Major banks in South Korea saw their "jeonse" home rental loans increase at a record pace this year amid soaring jeonse rates, industry data showed Thursday. Outstanding jeonse loans extended by the country's five major lenders -- KB Kookmin, Shinhan, Hana, Woori and NH Nonghyup -- came to 103.3 trillion won ($94 billion) as of end-November, up nearly 23 trillion won from last year. It marks the first time that the amount of yearly jeonse loans has exceeded the 20 trillion-won level.
South Korea's foreign reserves rose for the eighth straight month in November, thanks to an increase in investment returns, central bank data showed Thursday. The nation's foreign reserves came to a record high of $436.3 billion as of end-November, up $9.87 billion from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). Foreign reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, International Monetary Fund reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bull
SEJONG -- Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Wednesday that next year's budget will help South Korea's economy recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Hong made the remarks shortly after the National Assembly passed a 558 trillion-won ($506 billion) budget for 2021, a net increase of 2.2 trillion won to help virus-hit small merchants and secure vaccines. "Next year, (the government) will surely achieve our economy's recovery and rebound," Hong said in a Facebook post.
South Korean depository institutions' loans to self-employed people and companies grew at a much slower pace in the third quarter than three months earlier on improving business conditions, the central bank said Wednesday. Outstanding industrial loans extended by banks and non-bank depository institutions came to 1,366 trillion won ($1.24 trillion) as of end-September, up 37.8 trillion won from the end of June, according to the data from the Bank of Korea. The increase was nearly half the 69.1
The combined net profit of asset management companies in South Korea jumped 44.4 percent in the third quarter from a quarter earlier due a strong gain in commission fees, data showed Wednesday. The combined net profit of 324 asset management firms came to 459 billion won ($415 million) in the July-September period, compared with a profit of 312 billion won a quarter earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service. Korea’s benchmark Kospi rose about 10 percent in the third quarte
South Korea's exports are set to rise 6 percent in 2021 as pandemic-hit economies are expected to gradually recover and demand for chips and IT goods is likely to remain strong, a trade organization said Wednesday. Outbound shipments are estimated to be valued at $538.2 billion in 2021, compared with this year's estimated $507 billion, according to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). KITA said imports will reach $490 billion next year, also up 5.4 percent from $465 billion estima
Seoul has been selected as the top destination for international meetings by a global magazine on corporate travel, the city government said Wednesday. Business Traveler conducted an online survey in July and August for the 2020 Business Traveler Awards in 53 categories, including the world's best airlines, airports, hotels and international meeting destinations, the city government said in a press release. Some 200,000 magazine subscribers took part in the vote and chose Seoul as the Best In
The South Korean economy is seeing its recovery momentum gain traction on improving exports, the finance minister said Wednesday. Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki also pledged the government's efforts to continue to prop up an economic recovery into the fourth quarter and next year. "The South Korean economy shows that its recovery momentum has gained traction in the face of difficult conditions," Hong said at a meeting on the property market. Asia's fourth-largest economy grew at a fas