Korea deserves its upgrade

If the rating agencies are to have a consistency of approach, then Korea should be upgraded

The sovereign rating of South Korea should be upgraded immediately. Its present level of BBBBaa2 is simply not consistent with the remarkable turnaround of its economy in the last year and a half. The country now has $82 billion in foreign exchange reserves, a 2% current account surplus and 1999 FDI capital inflows of $13 billion, allowing the country to be a $10 billion net external creditor. The ratios speak for themselves less than 30% of its total liabilities are due in two years or less, and its forex reserves cover these liabilities by 200%.

Compare these figures with the end of 1997 when the country was last downgraded. Then 40% of...

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