SEOUL, May 24 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's foreign debt edged down in the first quarter due to lower long-term debt that offset the increased short-term liability, central bank data showed Wednesday.
Foreign debt stood at 665 billion U.S. dollars at the end of March, down 0.3 billion dollars from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea.
Short-term foreign debt with a maturity of less than one year grew 7.2 billion dollars to 173.7 billion dollars in the cited period, but long-term external lability reduced 7.5 billion dollars to 491.3 billion dollars.
The ratio of short-term foreign debt to the total external liability increased 1.1 percentage points from three months earlier to 26.1 percent at the end of March.
The ratio of short-term foreign debt to the country's foreign reserves gained 1.5 percentage points to 40.8 percent.
Net external credit, or external credit minus foreign debt, fell 0.2 billion dollars to 356.2 billion dollars in the January-March quarter.