Current account surplus slips

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South Korea's foreign exchange reserves hit a record high in May due to a hike in the value of non-dollar currencies when converted into the US greenback, central bank data showed Monday.

The current account balance, the biggest measure of cross-border capital flow for goods and services, stayed in black for 62 months to April, but the surplus slumped from 5.75 billion dollars in March, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Holdings in gold bullion remained unchanged at $4.79 billion during the same period, the statement said.

The surplus in the current account means the country is a net lender and that its earnings from transactions with other countries have exceeded borrowing.

The sharp fall in April was attributable to an increase in dividend payment to foreigners.

The travel account was in the red at $1.24 billion in April and widened drastically compared to a year before when the deficit was at $530 million.

The BOK said the goods account surplus widened to $11.93 billion, up from $9.85 billion a year earlier on the back of the country's brisk overseas sales. In April, the equity account recorded a deficit of $5.3 billion, the largest deficit in history. Exports, which account for about half of the economy, jumped 19.2 percent from a year earlier to 48.2 billion dollars in April, while imports advanced 18.6 percent to 36.27 billion dollars.

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