November 22, 2017 / 3:02 AM / a year ago

South Korea end-Q3 household debt growth slows to 2-year low

SEOUL, Nov 22 (Reuters) - South Korea’s annual household debt posted its slowest growth in two years in the third quarter as the rules governing mortgage borrowing were tightened, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Home loans and other debt owed by South Korean households jumped 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 1,419.1 trillion won ($1.30 trillion) in the third quarter, but that was the slowest debt growth since a 9.2 percent annual gain in the second quarter of 2015.

South Korea in August implemented the toughest rules yet to cool housing prices, including new curbs on mortgages and increased capital gains taxes for owners of multiple homes.

Quarter-on-quarter debt growth inched up to 2.2 percent after expanding 2.1 percent over the April to June period, preliminary data from the Bank of Korea showed.

“Last year was when debt growth was at its cyclical high, so debt growth is moderating this year. Borrowings from non-depository institutions eased on tightened risk-management measures,” a central bank official said.

Mortgages and other loans from depository institutions grew 19.2 trillion won to 954.6 trillion won during the September quarter while borrowings from insurers and pension funds increased by 8.9 trillion won to 386.6 trillion won. ($1 = 1,092.3300 won) (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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