Industrial lending in South Korea grew the most in more than four years in the third quarter due to lack of operating funds among companies caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, central bank data showed on Monday.
Funds lent by deposit-takers, including banks, savings banks and mutual finance, to companies came in at $805.2 billion as of end-September, up 2.2 percent, from three months earlier, Xinhua quoted the Bank of Korea as saying.
It marked the largest quarterly increase in four and a half years since the first quarter of 2011 when the industrial lending expanded 21.9 trillion won.
The fast growth in industrial loans came amid the shortage of operating funds for wages and production costs, caused by the MERS outbreak that rocked the overall industry and reduced revenue.
Loans for operating funds surged 9.5 trillion won during the third quarter, the largest expansion in four and a half years.
Those for facility investment increased 10.6 trillion won during the quarter, down from a rise of 13.5 trillion won in the second quarter.
Loans to manufacturers rose 6.7 trillion won from three months earlier to 325.3 trillion won as of end-September, after growing 2.7 trillion won in the second quarter.
Those to service companies expanded 12.4 trillion won during the third quarter after rising 9.2 trillion won in the second quarter.