Short-term foreign debt ratio hits 5-year high

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Short-term foreign debt ratio hits 5-year high

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 $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 marked a $8.3 billion rise from three months earlier, 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 level since 2012 when the comparable figure was 31.3 percent.

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