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Ratio of short-term debt to foreign reserves edges up in Q2

All Headlines 11:42 August 30, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ratio of short-term foreign debt to foreign reserves rose in the second quarter on increased borrowings by local banks, data showed Tuesday.

The country's short-term external debt, with a maturity of one year or less, totaled US$106.8 billion as of the end of June, up $2.7 billion from three months earlier, according to the data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The end-June figure accounted for 27.3 percent of the country's total external debt, up 0.5 percentage point from the previous quarter, the data showed.

The nation's total external liability reached $391.8 billion at the end of June, up $2.5 billion over the cited period.

The ratio of short-term foreign debt to its foreign reserves stood at 28.9 percent at the end of June, up from 28.1 percent at the end of March. The March figure marked the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2004, when the comparable figure was 27.3 percent.

South Korea's short-term foreign debt, which refers to external debt with a maturity of less than one year, was an area of concern during past financial turmoil as a sharp rise in foreign debt left lenders vulnerable to external shocks.

The ratio had sharply surged during the global financial crisis, hitting 79.3 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

Meanwhile, South Korea's net foreign direct investment and assets reached a record $234.1 billion as of end-June, up $21.3 billion from the preceding quarter, the data showed.

The country's assets invested overseas reached $1.193 trillion at the end of June, up $26 billion from three months earlier.

Foreign investors' investment in the country, including stocks and bonds, rose $4.7 billion to $959.7 billion over the cited period, according to the data.

entropy@yna.co.kr
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