RTTNews - South Korea saw a current account surplus of $4.28 billion in April, the Bank of Korea said in a preliminary report on Thursday - down from a record $6.65 billion in March.

Exports fell 19.6 percent on year, the bank said, after a 22.1 percent annual contraction in March. Imports were off 35.6 percent on year following the 35.9 percent decline on year in the previous month.

The services account deficit widened from 0.65 billion dollars to 1.11 billion dollars, as the travel account shifted from its three months of consecutive surpluses to a deficit in April and the transport account surplus narrowed, while the other services account deficit remained almost the same as in the preceding month.

The income account deficit amounted to 0.86 billion dollars, up 0.64 billion dollars from the previous month, owing to increased external dividend payments. The current transfer account surplus declined to 0.08 billion dollars from the preceding month's 0.53 billion dollars, as external remittance income decreased and payments increased.

The capital and financial account in April 2009 shifted from the previous month's net outflow of 2.71 billion dollars to a net inflow of 2.54 billion dollars. The direct investment account shifted from the previous month's net outflow of 0.59 billion dollars to a net inflow of 0.08 billion dollars, as inward foreign direct investment turned to a net inflow.

The portfolio investment account shifted from the previous month's net outflow of 2.31 billion dollars to a net inflow of 7.13 billion dollars, since residents raised dollar-denominated funds through a large amount of offshore bond issues including foreign exchange stabilization bonds while foreigners' domestic stock investments increased.

The financial derivatives account registered a net outflow of 0.68 billion dollars, down from the previous month's net outflow of 2.32 billion dollars, as losses realized through derivative transactions decreased due to a falling exchange rate against the U.S. dollars. The other investment account shifted from the previous month's net inflow of 2.27 billion dollars to a net outflow of 4.15 billion dollars.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the current account surplus came in at $6.51 billion - down from $6.64 billion in March.

For the first quarter, the current account surplus was $15.79 billion - down from $1.01 billion a year ago. The current account registered a surplus of $12.86 billion during the January to April period.

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