SEOUL, July 9 (Yonhap) — Excess funds held by South Korean households and nonprofit organizations rose sharply from a year earlier in the first quarter, central bank data showed Thursday, amid increased market liquidity aimed at supporting the pandemic-hit economy.

Net financial funds — financial assets minus financial liabilities — held by local households and nonprofit organizations serving households came to 66.8 trillion won (US$56 billion) as of end-March, up from 27.8 trillion won a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Nonprofit organizations serving households include small unincorporated businesses owned by households.

The amount also marks a sharp increase from a 23.9 trillion won rise in the last three months of 2019.

Local businesses, on the other hand, remained net borrowers.

Net borrowing of non-financial enterprises here came to 28.2 trillion won as of end-March, up sharply from 14 trillion won a year earlier and 13.9 trillion won three months earlier, according to the BOK.

The local government also turned net borrowers, with its net borrowing reaching 26.5 trillion won as of end-March, compared with its net lending of 13.6 trillion won three months earlier.

The total financial assets of the country’s non-financial sector came to 8,520.2 trillion won as of the end of the first quarter, down 55.1 trillion won from three months earlier, while its financial liabilities came to 5,809.0 trillion won, up 152.8 trillion won over the cited period.