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S. Korea's sovereign debt to grow faster on extra budget


14:42, April 19, 2013

SEOUL, April 19 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's sovereign debt was expected to grow faster to top 500 trillion won (447 billion U.S. dollars) in 2015, due to the supplementary budget that was drawn up recently to boost the sluggish economic recovery, a government report showed Friday.

The country's sovereign debt under a cash basis accounting was estimated to reach 510.5 trillion won in 2015, breaching the 500 trillion won level for the first time in history, according to the report submitted by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance to the National Assembly.

The ministry projected the sovereign debt to increase from 480. 4 trillion won in 2013 to 524.3 trillion won in 2016. The figures were revised up from an earlier forecast of 464.6 trillion won in 2013 and 487.5 trillion won 2016.

The upward revision came after the ministry unveiled the extraordinarily large amount of supplementary budget worth 17.3 trillion won, the highest since 28.4 trillion won in 2009 when the global financial crisis peaked.

To finance the supplementary budget, the ministry planned to sell 15.9 trillion won in government bonds this year. The rise in bond sales was expected to raise market interest rates by 20-30 basis points, according to the ministry's estimate.

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