August 21, 2012 / 3:01 AM / 5 years ago

South Korea Q2 short-term foreign debt rises

SEOUL, Aug 21 (Reuters) - South Korea's short-term external debt edged up during the second quarter in 2012, with its ratio to foreign reserves deviating from a year-long easing spell, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

Short-term external debt rose to $141.4 billion at the end of June from a revised $135.8 billion three months before, the Bank of Korea said.

The ratio of short-term external debt to foreign reserves inched up to 45.3 percent, up from 43.0 percent at the end of the first quarter but was still low compared with the ratios from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis seen as high as 79.1 percent.

Asia's fourth-largest economy has imposed capital controls including limiting currency derivatives to curb short-term foreign borrowing after concerns spiked over the country's heavy foreign-borrowing during the global financial crisis.

The rise in the second quarter was attributed to an increase in banks' borrowing of foreign assets and foreign purchases of South Korean bonds.

The ratio of short-term external debt to total external debt owed by South Korea edged up to 33.8 percent in June from a revised 32.9 at the end of the first quarter, the data showed.

South Korea's external debt overall rose to $418.6 billion at the end of June versus a revised $412.5 billion three months prior, equivalent to 134 percent of foreign reserves. (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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