S. Korea’s net foreign credit hits record high

Seoul, Sep 1 (IANS) South Korea’s net foreign credit, gauging external credit minus debt, hit a record high in the second quarter this year due to slower foreign debt growth than foreign credit, central bank data said on Tuesday.

External credit, which measures money lent to foreign players, came in at $711.9 billion as of the end of June, up $30. 2 billion from three months earlier, Xinhua reported quoting the Bank of Korea.

External debt totalled $420.6 billion at the end of June, up $1.7 billion from three months earlier.

Helped by the slower gain in debt than credit, the net foreign credit reached a new high of $291.3 billion as of end-June, up $28.5 billion from three months ago.

Short-term foreign debts, which mature in less than a year, increased $8.4 billion from three months earlier to $121.2 billion as of end-June, taking up 28.8 percent of the total external debt.

It was up 1.9 percentage points from three months earlier, marking the highest in about two years since 29.2 percent tallied in the second quarter of 2013.

The short-term debt gauges the country’s foreign debt-servicing capability along with current account surplus and foreign reserves. The short-term debt can abruptly flow out of the country in emergency situations of the global financial market.

The ratio of short-term debts to total foreign liabilities declined from the peak of 52.1 percent at the third quarter of 2008 to 26.4 percent at the fourth quarter of 2013, before rising to 28.8 percent in the second quarter this year.

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