S. Korea's Short-term Foreign Debt Ratio Hits 5 Year High in 2017 | Be Korea-savvy

S. Korea’s Short-term Foreign Debt Ratio Hits 5 Year High in 2017

(image: kobizmedia)

(image: kobizmedia)

SEOUL, Feb. 23 (Korea Bizwire)South Korea’s short-term foreign debt rose sharply last year, with its ratio to the total reaching a five year high, the finance ministry said Friday.

The country’s total external debt stood at US$418.8 billion at the end of last year, up $34.7 billion from a year ago, according to the ministry.

The tally for the end of 2017 also marks a $8.3 billion rise from three months ago, it said.

The country’s short-term external debt — with a maturity of one year or less — totaled $115.9 billion as of the end of December, a gain of $11.2 billion from a year ago.

The figure for the end of December accounted for 27.7 percent of the country’s total external debt, an increase from 27.3 percent a year ago, and marks the highest reading since 2012 when the comparable figure was 31.3 percent.

The ratio of short-term foreign debt to foreign reserves stood at 29.8 percent at the end of last year, rising 1.6 percentage points over the cited period.

South Korea’s short-term foreign debt is a source of concern, as a sharp rise can leave the country vulnerable to external shocks.

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


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