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 on Feb. 23.
The country’s total external debt stood at US$418.8 billion at the end of last year, up US$34.7 billion from a year ago, according to the ministry.
The tally for the end of 2017 also marks a US$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 US$115.9 billion as of the end of December, a gain of US$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 exchange reserves stood at 29.8 percent at the end of last year, rising 1.6 percentage points over the cited period.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org