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Korea’s short-term foreign debt reaches 2-year high

Nov 24,2017
The ratio of Korea’s short-term foreign debt to its foreign reserves hit the highest level in two years in the third quarter, central bank data showed Thursday.

The country’s short-term external debt - with a maturity of one year or less - totaled $119.8 billion as of the end of September, up $2.5 billion from three months earlier, according to the data by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The end-September figure accounted for 29.3 percent of the country’s total external debt, the highest percentage since the second quarter of 2014, when the comparable figure was 29.4 percent.

The nation’s total external liability reached $409.1 billion at the end of September, up $1.8 billion from three months earlier.

The ratio of short-term foreign debt to its foreign reserves stood at 31.1 percent at the end of September, which is the highest since the third quarter of 2015, when the comparable figure was 31.3 percent.

Korea’s short-term foreign debt is an area of concern, as a sharp rise can leave the country vulnerable to external shocks. The ratio surged during the global financial crisis, hitting 79.3 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

Korea’s assets invested overseas reached $1.3894 trillion at the end of September, up $50 billion from three months earlier. Foreign investors’ investment in Korea rose $11.2 billion to $1.1265 trillion.

YONHAP