1. South Korea proposes $8.4 billion extra budget shield against Brexit, domestic risks

South Korea proposes $8.4 billion extra budget shield against Brexit, domestic risks

South Korea will propose a supplementary budget of around 10 trillion won ($8.44 billion) to parliament soon, the government said on Tuesday, as it manages Brexit turmoil in financial markets, weak exports, and a corporate overhaul of the country's shipping and shipbuilding industries.

By: | Sejong/south Korea | Updated: June 28, 2016 8:25 AM
Flag South Korea will propose a supplementary budget of around 10 trillion won (.44 billion) to parliament soon. (Reuters)

South Korea will propose a supplementary budget of around 10 trillion won ($8.44 billion) to parliament soon, the government said on Tuesday, as it manages Brexit turmoil in financial markets, weak exports, and a corporate overhaul of the country’s shipping and shipbuilding industries.

The funds for the extra budget will mostly use a surplus in tax revenue for the first half of the year. The finance ministry will not be sell more treasury bonds to raise the funds to avoid running up additional government debt.

Lee Hoseung, director general of the economic policy bureau at the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced the government’s policies for the second half of the year in an embargoed briefing, which included the extra budget plans.

“We saw very bad growth in January and February due to financial jitters from China on top of North Korea’s missile launches and a nuclear test,” he said.

“March was better on many terms…but we feel activity in the private sector is still lacking.”

Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said last week a supplementary budget would have to be ratified before mid-July to have maximum effect. Lawmakers in both ruling and opposition parties favour the extra budget.

Reflecting worsened conditions inside and outside the country, the finance ministry lowered its growth forecast for this year to 2.8 percent from the 3.1 percent projected in December last year.

Inflation for 2016 was also downgraded to 1.1 percent from 1.5 percent forecast previously.

The extra budget comes as the latest buffer against possible fallout from the corporate restructuring of the country’s struggling shipping and shipbuilding firms.

Earlier this month, the government and central bank said they would create an 11 trillion won fund to support two state-run banks most exposed to these industries.

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