UPDATE : 2019.10.19 SAT 10:37
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Listed firms' debt ratio worsens in Q1

South Korea's listed firms saw their financial health worsen in the first quarter of the year, data showed Monday, amid an economic slowdown.

The average debt-to-equity ratio of 640 companies listed on the main KOSPI bourse, came to 110.7 percent as of end-March, sharply up 6.37 percentage points from the end of last year, according to the data by the Korea Exchange.

The bourse operator didn't provide the reason for the worsened debt-equity ratio of the companies that close their books in December.

A key barometer of financial soundness, the ratio is calculated by dividing a company's total liabilities by its stockholders' equity.

The companies' debt totaled 1,358.15 trillion won (US$1.14 trillion) as of end-March, up 7.5 percent from three months earlier, with their combined equity gaining 1.31 percent to 1,226.82 trillion won.

Approximately 54 percent of the total, or 346 firms, had a debt ratio of 100 percent or lower, while the ratio for 16.3 percent, or 104 companies, exceeded 200 percent. The remainder had an in-between ratio.(Yonhap)

Kim Hyung-dae  edt@koreapost.com

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