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.