South Korean companies listed on the country's main stock market saw their debt ratio edge up in the first quarter of this year from three months earlier, data showed Monday.
The debt-to-equity ratio of 598 listed companies, which close their books in December, came to 111.38 percent at the end of March, up 0.93 percentage point from the end of December, according to the data by the Korea Exchange and the Korea Listed Companies Association.
A key measure of financial health and stability, the ratio is calculated by dividing a company's total liabilities by its stockholders' equity.
The companies' debt totaled 1,182.8 trillion won (US$1.09 trillion) as of end-March, up 2.54 percent from three months earlier, with their combined equity rising 1.69 percent to 1,061.9 trillion won.
The data also showed 325 companies, or 54.3 percent of the total, had a debt ratio of 100 percent or lower, while the ratio for 89 firms exceeded 200 percent.
The number of companies with a debt ratio of 100 percent and lower declined by nine during the period, with that for firms with a ratio of more than 200 percent climbing by two.
Companies in the property, oil refinery and 28 other business sectors saw their debt ratio grow over the cited period, with firms in the electronics parts, automaking, communications equipment and four other areas posting declines, the data showed.