S.Korea fx bank deposits in Dec decline for 4th mth

SEOUL, Jan 16 (Reuters) - South Korea’s foreign exchange bank deposits in December inched down for a fourth straight month as conglomerates dipped into their dollar-denominated deposits for trade-related settlements, the central bank said on Monday.

Foreign exchange bank deposits stood at $58.91 billion as of end-December, down from $61.05 billion in November and marking the lowest level of deposits since end-May last year, according to the Bank of Korea.

Dollar deposits fell to $49.66 billion from $52.03 billion over the same period, the central bank said, as businesses also withdrew dollars to repatriate for local won payment purposes.

Overall, foreign exchange deposits held by companies fell to $48.68 billion in December from $50.48 billion in November, while those held by individuals inched down to $10.23 billion from $10.57 billion over the same period.

As of the end of December, dollar deposits accounted for 84.3 percent of all foreign exchange deposits. (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)