|Serbia's foreign debt rose an annual 4.7% y/y to EUR 25.4bn at end-February after climbing 6.6% on the year in January, central bank data showed. In monthly terms, however, the external indebtedness shrank 1.3%. According to IntelliNews calculations, the end-February external debt accounted for 82.1% of the full-year projected GDP, down from 84.5% of GDP a year earlier. These calculations are based on the government's latest forecast that the GDP will expand 2% to EUR 31bn in 2013. The long-term external debt increased 6.1% y/y to EUR 25bn (98.5% of total external debt) at end-February. Long-term external public indebtedness jumped an annual 12% to EUR 12bn over the period lifted by Serbia's two Eurobond issues during the third quarter of 2012. Serbia's short-term external debt, which has been declining in annual terms since June 2010, plunged 44.7% y/y to EUR 371bn in February (only 1.5% share in total external debt stock), as the banking sector's foreign liabilities halved to EUR 303bn over the period. Serbia's external liabilities of the public sector increased rapidly between September 2011 and February 2013 - when the country placed four Eurobond issues on the foreign market worth a total of USD 4.3bn. Rising public indebtedness will continue driving Serbia's external debt up in the near term as the country plans to seek over USD 3bn of financing abroad in 2013.
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