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IMF questions Seoul’s maritime rescue plan

The International Maritime Fund (IMF) has weighed into and criticised Seoul’s efforts to save its leading shipping lines and shipbuilders.

The IMF has questioned whether the central bank, the Bank of Korea (BoK) should be printing extra bank notes to invest in state-run banks, which in turn are spending billions to prop up the nation’s ailing maritime sector.

The IMF reckons it is up to the finance ministry to recapitalise the Export-Import Bank of Korea (Eximbank) and the Korea Development Bank (KDB).
“IMF delegates were concerned by the government’s move to pressure the BOK to inject fresh money into state-run banks,” a source at the central bank, asking not to be named, told the local Korea Times. “They asked whether it means that Korea is in serious financial trouble.”
Both the KDB and Eximbank have been hit by billions of dollars of bad loans to the local shipbuilding and shipping line scene in recent years.



Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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