S. Korea’s overseas financial assets hit new high in 2021

SEOUL-- South Korea's overseas financial assets hit a new high in 2021 thanks largely to a jump in investment in U.S. stocks, central bank data showed Tuesday.

The nation's external financial assets came to US$1.715 trillion at the end of December last year, up $177.8 billion from a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The BOK attributed the on-year surge mainly to increased investment in the United States and European Union countries amid stock rallies.

Financial assets in the U.S. jumped $141.8 billion to $675 billion, touching a new high and accounting for 39.4 percent of the total.

South Korean entities' financial assets in the EU climbed $11.5 billion to $236 billion, and their financial assets in China rose $8.9 billion to $164.6 billion.

In line with an international norm, the tally excluded South Korea's foreign reserves, which stood at $463.1 billion as of end-December, the BOK said. Foreign reserves consist of securities and deposits denominated in overseas currencies, International Monetary Fund reserve positions, special drawing rights and gold bullion.

The data also showed the nation's external financial liabilities increasing $25.5 billion to $1.519 trillion as of end-December.

External liabilities owned to the U.S. were the largest at $386.2 billion, or 25.4 percent of the total, followed by Southeast Asian nations with $323.9 billion and the EU with $251.5 billion.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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