Seoul enjoys record in payment balance

Seoul enjoys record in payment balance

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
Seoul enjoys record in payment balance

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South Korea’s current account surplus rose to a record high in November, placing upward pressure on the won which has already risen more than 10 percent against the dollar since May.

The surplus, the broadest measure of South Korea’s trade with the rest of the world, totalled $6.88 billion last month, up from a revised $5.78 billion in October, the Bank of Korea said on Dec. 28.

 It was the highest surplus on record, and compared with the previous all-time high of $6.14 billion set in July.

South Korea’s current account has now been in the black for 10 consecutive months, having last posted a deficit in January. For the first 11 months of the year, the surplus stood at $40.97 billion, surpassing the central bank’s already upwardly revised forecast of $34 billion for the entire year.

The central bank attributed the expanding surplus to strong exports of semiconductors, telecommunications equipment and display panels. But November’s record high will worry some exporters already hit by the strength of the won.

Ease in foreign exchange

The government announced last month it was lowering the ceiling on foreign exchange forward positions by foreign and local banks, to ease currency volatility. And it made clear that additional measures might be taken if hot money continues to flow into its markets.