South Korea’s household debt ratio to gross domestic product (GDP) was the highest in Asia last year, a study found.
According to the Global Wealth Report released by Germany’s Allianz Group on Tuesday, Korean households’ liabilities measured as a percentage to GDP was 95.8 percent, the highest among Asian countries. The average ratio of the total 53 economies studied was 71.5 percent. The average of the 10 major Asian countries was 50.2 percent, with Taiwan at 87 percent, Singapore 73.7 percent, Japan 64.6 percent and China 45.1 percent. The lowest was India at 9.8 percent.
Korea also had the second-largest per capita debt among Asian countries at 24,200 euros, followed by Singapore with 36,075 euros. The global average was 17,490 euros and the Asian average 3,115 euros.
As for per capita net financial assets, South Korea came in 22nd at 28,180 euros, up 809 euros but down by one notch from the previous year. Net financial assets refer to assets including cash, bank deposits, stocks, insurance and pensions minus debt. When debt is counted in, the country’s asset ranking remained unchanged at 22nd with 52,380 euros.
Bank deposits were the most popular asset class among Korean households, accounting for 44 percent of total savings. Insurance and pensions followed at 32 percent and securities at 24 percent.
The U.S. was the richest country in terms of per capita net financial assets at 177,210 euros, followed by Switzerland at 175,720 euros and Japan at 96,890 euros.
By Kim Tae-sung
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