Seoul - South Korea's long-term external debt hit a record high in 2012 on steady foreign buying of local bonds, but its short-term debt fell to a six-year low, central bank data showed Wednesday.
Total external liabilities stood at $413.4 billion at the end of 2012, up $14.7 billion from a year earlier, the Bank of Korea said.
Last year foreign investors snapped up South Korean bonds that were made more attractive by aggressive monetary easing in major economies.
The country's short-term debt fell $10.7 billion from the end of 2011 to $126.7 billion, its lowest level since 2006, mainly as the result of repayments by banks.
The rate of short-term foreign debt to total debt fell to 30.6 percent, from 34.5 percent the previous year.
“Banks repaid their short-term overseas debt due to reduced local demand.
The government's tightened rules on banks' foreign debt also contributed to the decline,” the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a statement. - Sapa-AFP