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Value of newly listed bonds soars 24 pct in 2020

Finance 14:21 January 13, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- The value of listed bonds in South Korea jumped nearly 24 percent on-year to a new record high in 2020 due to a spike in government debt sale to tackle the coronavirus impact, data showed Wednesday.

State, corporate and other bonds worth 769 trillion won (US$702 billion) were newly listed on the local bourse last year, up 23.7 percent from the previous year and the largest ever, according to the data from the Korea Exchange.

The jump came as the government sharply increased debt sales to finance programs to tide over the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The amount of newly listed state bonds came to 236.1 trillion won last year, up 42.4 percent from a year earlier, as the government drafted four antivirus extra budgets.

Value of newly listed bonds soars 24 pct in 2020 - 1

The value of special bonds issued by state firms soared 25 percent, with that of municipal bonds shooting up about 64 percent. The amount of corporate bonds climbed a mere 1 percent amid low interest rates.

The outstanding value of listed bonds came to 2,047.4 trillion won as of end-December, up 12.2 percent from a year earlier and hovering above South Korea's nominal gross domestic product of 1,907.5 trillion won for the first time.

Meanwhile, the value of newly listed socially responsible investment (SRI) bonds stood at 58.9 trillion won last year, up 129 percent from the previous year, with the outstanding amount of those bonds reaching 85.9 trillion won as of end-December, up 206 percent.

SRI bonds refer to bonds whose proceeds are used to finance environmentally friendly projects or projects that can create social benefits.

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