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Korean’s Spending Abroad Rises

Posted August. 25, 2007 03:26,   


Due to the surge in the number of outbound tourists and the won’s strength against the U.S. dollar, Koreans’ credit card spending abroad hit a record of 2.7 trillion won in terms of half-yearly settlements.

According to a report on “overseas card expenditure from April to June” released by the Bank of Korea (BOK), the expenditure amount hit a record high with $1.51 billion in the second quarter alone. This figure was a 31.3 percent increase from same quarter a year ago, which even broke the record from $14.5 billion of the first quarter in 2007, rising by 7.4 percent.

Hence, the overseas card expenditure of the first half of this year has hit an all time high of $2.9 billion, or 2.7 trillion won, rising 32.6 percent from a year ago in the same quarter.

During the second quarter, the number of overseas credit card spenders rose 39.3 percent reaching $2.34 million; however, the per-capita average expenditure dropped 5.9 percent, recording $643.

BOK said, “As the average won-dollar rate in the second quarter has declined from 950.41 won to 929.26 won this year, the overseas card spending has increased sharply.”

In terms of the sorts of cards, credit cards comprised 80.7 percent with $1.2 billion, while debit cards accounted for 19.3 percent with $290 million.

Meanwhile, the expenditure of nonresidents in Korea during the second quarter recorded $579 million, falling 2.7 percent year-on-year, and the number of foreign spenders also fell to 11.9 percent to $1.25 million.

Such trends resulted after the won gained strength against the dollar and as prices of Korean goods have become relatively inexpensive for foreigners.