SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) — The nonperforming loan ratio at South Korean banks declined to a record low in the first quarter due to a drop in overdue corporate loans, data showed Wednesday.

The ratio of bad loans to total lending came to 0.62 percent at the end of the first quarter, down 0.02 percentage point from three months earlier, according to the data by the Financial Supervisory Service.

From a year earlier, the ratio fell 0.16 percentage point.

In the first quarter, fresh overdue lending to companies reached 1.8 trillion won (US$1.6 billion), down 700 billion won from three months earlier, the data showed.

The outstanding amount of bad debt amounted to 13.8 trillion won as of end-March, down 100 billion won from three months earlier.

Overdue corporate loans reached 11.9 trillion won, accounting for 87 percent of the total nonperforming loans.

The corporate logos of major banks (Yonhap)