S.Korean banks’ capital adequacy ratio rises in Q4

South Korean banks’ capital adequacy ratio rose in the fourth quarter of last year due to increased capital and lower risk-weighted assets, financial watchdog data showed on Wednesday.

The total capital ratio of 16 commercial and state-run banks averaged 15.00 per cent under the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) framework at the end of December, up 0.41 percentage points from the previous quarter, according to the Financial Supervisory Service.

The ratio, a barometer of financial soundness, gauges the proportion of a bank’s capital to risk-weight assets. Banks are required to maintain the ratio at above 10.5 per cent.

The tier-1 capital ratio, which measures common stock capital and retained earnings, gained 0.37 percentage points from three months earlier to 13.47 per cent as of the end of December.

The common equity tier-1 capital ratio, which measures the proportion of common equity to risk-weighted assets, added 0.31 percentage points to 12.45 per cent in the three-month period.

The higher ratios were attributed to higher earnings and capital as well as lower risk-weighted assets.