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S. Korea's sale of foreign currency bonds likely to fall in H2
SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean financial firms are likely to trim the sales of foreign currency-denominated bonds in the second half as borrowing costs are rising amid speculation over U.S. monetary stimulus cuts, a report showed Wednesday.

   The issuance of foreign currency bonds amounted to US$14.7 billion in the first half, down 37 percent from a year earlier, according to the report by the Korea Center for International Finance.

   It said that yields on U.S. Treasury and spreads on benchmark borrowing rates have been on a sharp rise as investors are wary of investing bonds amid liquidity reduction risks.

   Bond yields are on the rise globally since U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in late June that the U.S. central bank could start tapering its $85 billion monthly bond-buying stimulus program later this year and possibly end it by mid-2014.

   In the second half, the value of maturing foreign currency bonds is estimated to reach $8.4 billion, less than the $12.1 billion debts that matured in the first half, according to the report.

   But the value of maturing foreign currency-denominated bonds may hit a record high of $29.8 billion in 2014 when five-year bonds issued following the 2008 global financial crisis will come to maturity en masse, it noted.

   At the height of the global financial turmoil, local banks had difficulty in securing foreign currency liquidity.

   sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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