Financial authorities vow more policy support for SMEs

South Korea's state financial regulator announced plans Tuesday to expand policy support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) will launch a special "liquidity support program" to enable them to secure swift rollover of existing loans and emergency lending if needed, according to the FSC's chief Yim Jong-yong.

He made it public in a meeting with representatives from SMEs and related public agencies, including Korea Credit Guarantee Fund and Korea Technology Finance Corp., held at the Banwol Industrial Complex in Ansan, just south of Seoul.

The move came amid growing concern about financial trouble among local SMEs from a drawn-out economic slump and rising interest rates.

Yim said the nation's policy lenders will increase their financial support for SMEs to around 150 trillion won (US$124 billion) next year from the originally planned 141 trillion won.

The government will also step up efforts for the spread of "technology financing," which offers tech firms chances to get loans based on an evaluation of their technology and growth potential rather than focusing on their collateral or balance sheets, Yim said.

The volume of funds to be provided in the loan option will be lifted to 80 trillion won in 2017 from the 67 trillion won initially agreed upon.

"(The government) will concentrate policy efforts for financial support for SMEs in cooperation with policy lenders and civilian financial firms so that SMEs can serve as a reliable strut of our economy," he added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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