SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Overdue bank loans in South Korea fell for the first time in three months as banks resolved bad debts ahead of the quarter end, financial watchdog data showed Thursday.
The percentage of bank loans overdue at least one month stood at 0.43 percent of the total as of end-September, down 0.07 percentage points from a month earlier, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).
It was the first decline in three months as banks resolved bad debts ahead of the end of the July-September quarter to window-dress their accounting books.
The ratios for both household and corporate loans declined. The figure for corporate loans dipped 0.11 percentage points to 0.58 percent, with those to big and small companies sliding to 0.4 percent and 0.63 percent respectively.
The delinquency ratio for bank loans to households shed 0.03 percentage point to 02.5 percent, with the ratios for mortgage loans and credit loans falling to 0.18 percent and 0.4 percent each.
The financial watchdog said it will closely monitor a possible rise in the bad debt ratio amid expectations for interest rate hike in the near future.
The Bank of Korea (BOK) froze its benchmark rate at an all-time low of 1.25 percent for 16 months through October, but the bank hinted at a rate increase later this year or early next year.