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News Briefing
External debt decreases to US $649.3 billion in Q3 2023
Jan 2024
The external debt stood at $649.3 billion as of the end of the third quarter of 2023, decreasing by $15.7 billion from the previous quarter ($665.1 billion). By maturity, short-term external debt (maturities of one year or less) decreased by $20.3 billion to $141.6 billion, while long-term external debt (maturities greater than one year) increased by $4.6 billion to reach $507.7 billion.  By sector, the government’s external debt decreased by $2.2 billion. The external debt of the central bank and banks decreased by $4.2 billion and $11.9 billion, respectively. The debt of other sectors including non-bank financial institutions and public and private companies increased by $2.7 billion.

Meanwhile, external assets decreased by $16.9 billion from the previous quarter to approximately $1.0 trillion as of the end of Q3 2023, driven by a decrease in foreign exchange reserves. As a result, net external assets (external assets minus external debt) also declined slightly by $1.1 billion to $352.7 billion compared with the previous quarter.

The decrease in short-term external debt led to an improvement in of external debt solvency indicators. More specifically, the ratio of short-term external debt to total external debt fell to 21.8% and the ratio of short-term external debt to reserves decreased to 34.2%. The ratio of short-term external debt to total external debt has fallen to its lowest level since the collection of the data began in Q4 of 1994. Also, the ratio of short-term external debt to reserves is at its lowest since the fourth quarter of 2019, just before the outbreak of the pandemic. The foreign currency liquidity coverage ratio (LCR), which indicates the ability of banks to repay external debt, stood at 143.3% as of the end of September 2023, significantly exceeding the regulatory requirement of 80%.