SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) — South Korean banks’ bad loan ratio edged up in the first quarter from the previous quarter due in part to a hike in soured household loans, data showed Tuesday.

The ratio of nonperforming loans to total lending extended by banks came to 0.78 percent as of the end of March, up 0.01 percentage point from three months earlier, according to data from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

Bad loans held by local banks reached 15.9 trillion won (US$13 billion) at the end of March, up 600 billion won from three months earlier, but they fell 2.6 trillion won from a year earlier, according to FSS.

Outstanding loans extended to businesses reached 13.7 trillion won at the end of March, up 400 billion won from three months earlier, but they declined 2.8 trillion won from a year earlier.

Overdue corporate loans accounted for 86.2 percent of the total nonperforming loans, the data showed.

Nonperforming loans extended to households increased to 2 trillion won at the end of March from 1.9 trillion won at the end of December.