(CBN Global) March 21 -- Chinese investors became the biggest holders of listed South Korean bonds for the first time in February, CBN has learned from Korea's Financial Supervisory Service.
Chinese investors held just over KRW17.5 trillion (USD15.1 trillion) in bonds at the end of last month, accounting for just over 18 percent of all South Korean debt held by foreigners. Chinese holdings jumped about 60 percent to KRW17.4 trillion at the end of last year from KRW10.8 trillion at the end of 2012.
In January, US investors held more South Korean debt than Chinese investors at KRW18 trillion and KRW17.4 trillion respectively. But in February, US investors cashed out KRW3.7 trillion, while Chinese investors assumed more Korean debt. US investors held KRW14.4 trillion at the end of last month.
South Korea became the third country to trade its currency with the yuan when it and China began direct interbank forex trading in Korea on Dec. 1, 2014.