Sun, 16 May 2021

SEOUL -- South Korean banks' lending to households continued to rise on the back of a record-low policy rate, central bank data showed Wednesday.

Outstanding bank loan to households amounted to 1,009.5 trillion won (904.2 billion U.S. dollars) as of the end of March, up 6.5 trillion won (5.8 billion U.S. dollars) from a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). (S. Korea-Bank)

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TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks lost ground Wednesday morning as investor sentiment was dented by a stronger yen versus the U.S. dollar and concerns over Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine after it was paused by U.S. health authorities due to instances of blood-clotting.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 101.76 points, or 0.34 percent, from Tuesday to 29,649.85. (Japan-Stocks)

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WELLINGTON -- New Zealand's Monetary Policy Committee agreed on Wednesday to maintain the current stimulatory level of monetary settings in order to meet its consumer price inflation and employment objectives.

The committee will keep the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25 percent, and the Large Scale Asset Purchase and Funding for Lending programs unchanged, said a Reserve Bank statement. (New Zealand-Monetary)

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NAIROBI -- Kenya's exports of avocados hit 72,000 tons in 2020, up from 59,000 tons recorded in the previous year, a government official said on Wednesday.

"The increase in export volumes was partly due to enhanced cultivation of avocado by Kenyan farmers over the past five years," Benjamin Tito, head of Horticultural Crops Directorate, told Xinhua on the phone. (Kenya-Avocados)

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