SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) — Foreign currency deposits at banks in South Korea declined in September from the previous month’s record high as companies tapped dollar holdings for import settlement, central bank data showed Thursday.

Outstanding foreign currency-denominated deposits held by residents amounted to US$85.5 billion as of end-September, down $3.09 billion from the previous month, according the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It marked a fall from a record high of $88.5 billion in August and also represented the first decline since February when such holdings declined $6.47 billion.

Residents include local citizens, foreigners staying here for more than six months and foreign companies. The data excludes interbank foreign currency deposits.

The BOK said the decline was mainly attributable to companies’ dollar demand for import settlement and securities companies’ withdrawal of money for offshore derivatives trade.

The dollar-denominated deposits declined $3.12 billion on-month to $73.47 billion, and the euro-denominated deposits also fell $290 million to $3.86 billion.

Companies’ holdings of FX deposits amounted to $67.53 billion as of end-September, down $3.46 billion from the previous month. But the deposits held by individuals rose $370 million on-month to $17.92 billion, the BOK said.