Korea posts biggest services- account deficit in H1 on falling Chinese tourists

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 3, 2017

South Korea posted a current account surplus of $7.01 billion in June, the Bank of Korea said on Thursday - up from $5.94 billion in May.

The figure represents a surplus for 64 months in a row. The travel account deficit more than doubled at $7.74 billion versus $3.5 billion a year ago, the second-biggest figure in history, as the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea tumbled, whereas the number of South Koreans traveling overseas jumped. The transport account deficit hit a record high of $2.28 billion in the January-June period due to the continued effect from the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping past year.

The number of outbound tourists jumped 18 percent on-year to more than 2.09 million in June, while foreign visitors to South Korea fell 36.2 percent to 992,000.

Lotte Duty Free suffered a 20 percent drop in sales for the second quarter as revenue from Chinese tourists tanked 30 percent in the wake of China's travel ban.

Seoul and Washington said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is only meant to counter North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile threats.

In the financial account there was an overall $8.72 billion expansion in net assets in June, and a $32.69 billion increase in net assets for the first half of the year.

Sales of the company, which runs Lotte Department Store and discount chain Lotte Mart, dipped 4.3 percent to 6.92 trillion won, with its bottom line nose-diving 95 percent to a mere 4.1 billion won.

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