South korea to offer 38.4 trillion won in financial support

South korea to offer 38.4 trillion won in financial support

SEOUL: South Korea plans to provide 38.4 trillion won (US$34.9 billion) in financial support to households and companies to help them cope with financial difficulty in the run-up to the Lunar New Year’s holiday in February amid the pandemic, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

The financial support will represent an increase of about 2.1 trillion won from the previous year, according to a package of holiday support measures unveiled by the Economy and Finance Ministry, Yonhap news agency reported.

It added that the measure is aimed at providing relief to households and firms that are suffering a temporary liquidity crunch ahead of the traditional holiday scheduled for Feb 11 to 13.

To this end, commercial and state-run banks as well as the central bank will lend a combined 38.4 trillion won, while state credit guarantee funds will provide 2.2 trillion won in loan guarantee, the ministry said.

Maturity for lending and loan guarantee totaling 10.1 trillion won will also be extended.

According to Yonhap’s report, South Korea plans to offer 90 percent of its 9.3 trillion won emergency handouts to smaller merchants and business owners hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic before the holiday.

It marks the third round of emergency handouts in response to the new coronavirus outbreak, including the 14.3 trillion-won stimulus checks for all households doled out in May 2020.