SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) — Loans extended by South Korean insurance companies rose 2 percent in the third quarter from a quarter earlier, the financial regulator said Tuesday.

Insurers’ outstanding loans totaled 245.8 trillion won (US$222 billion) as of the end of September, up 4.9 trillion won from the end of June, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said in a statement.

Their loans to households increased by 1.5 trillion won to 121.6 trillion won in the third quarter from a quarter earlier, while lending to companies rose by 3.4 trillion won to 124 trillion won during the same period, it said.

The loan delinquency rate, which measures the proportion of loan principal or unpaid interest for at least a month, came to 0.2 percent as of end-September, down 0.02 percentage point from the end of June.

The delinquency rate for household loans edged down 0.06 percentage point on-quarter to 0.42 percent, while that for corporate lending was unchanged at 0.1 percent.

The ratio of nonperforming loans came to 0.15 percent in the third quarter, down 0.01 percentage point from a quarter earlier, the FSS said.