SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s overseas financial assets hit a new high in 2020, mainly due to increased stock investments, central bank data showed Friday.

The nation’s external financial assets came to $1.93 trillion at the end of December last year, up $236.3 billion from a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The net international investment position came to US$441.4 billion as of the end of December, down $59.5 billion from a year earlier, the data showed.

The position refers to the difference between Korea’s external financial assets and the domestic assets owned by foreigners. It serves as a measure of a country’s external solvency.

South Korea’s external debt stood at $542.4 billion as of end-December, $75.5 billion more than a year earlier.

Short-term foreign debt, which matures within one year, rose by $23 billion over the cited period, with long-term debt growing by $52.5 billion.

South Korea’s short-term external debt accounted for 29 percent of its outstanding external liabilities.

The ratio of short-term foreign debt to foreign reserves stood at 35.5 percent at the end of December, up 2.6 percentage points from a year earlier.