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S.Korea 1st-qtr short-term external debt burden eases further
May 24, 2016 / 11:01 PM / a year ago

S.Korea 1st-qtr short-term external debt burden eases further

SEOUL, May 25 (Reuters) - South Korea’s ratio of short-term external debt to foreign reserves fell to 27.8 percent at the end of March from 29.1 percent at the end of the previous quarter, marking the lowest level in more than a decade, central bank data showed on Wednesday.

The country’s short-term external debt fell to $102.8 billion by the end of March from $107.1 billion three months earlier while foreign reserves ticked up to $369.8 billion from $368.0 billion over the same period, the Bank of Korea data showed.

The resulting ratio was the lowest since it marked 27.3 percent at the end of 2004, while dropping for a third straight quarter.

Meanwhile, total external debt owed by Asia’s fourth-largest economy fell to $385.8 billion as of end-March from $395.4 billion as of year-end 2015, the data said.

A separate statement from the Finance Ministry said short-term debt fell in the first quarter as banks paid back some foreign debt while private companies reduced trade-related borrowing. (Reporting by Christine Kim, editing by G Crosse)

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