SEOUL, May 21 (Reuters) - South Korea’s ratio of short-term external debt to its foreign reserves inched up during the first quarter as borrowings led by banks grew faster than the foreign reserves, central bank data showed on Wednesday.
The ratio of short-term external debt inched up to 34.9 percent of the country’s foreign reserves by the end of March from a revised 33.3 percent at the end of December, the quarterly data showed.
Short-term external debt owed by South Korea rose to $123.8 billion by the end of March from $115.3 billion three months earlier while foreign reserves grew to $354.3 billion from $346.5 billion, the Bank of Korea data showed.
Asia’s fourth-largest country had the world’s seventh-largest foreign reserves as of the end of March.
South Korea’s total external debt rose to $425.4 billion by the end of March from a revised $416.1 billion at the end of December, the data showed. (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Choonsik Yoo)