Bonds in South Korea (Yonhap)
Bond issuance in South Korea shot up more than 23 percent in 2020 due to a surge in government debt sales to tackle the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, data showed Monday.
The value of bonds issued in Asia's fourth-largest economy came to 844.7 trillion won ($774 billion) in 2020, up 23.2 percent from the previous year, according to the data from the Korea Financial Investment Association.
The spike was attributed to sharply increased sales of state and special-purpose bonds designed to help cushion the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sales of government bonds soared 43.8 percent on-year to 238.3 trillion won, with the issuance of financial bonds, including special bank bonds, climbing 23 percent to 236.1 trillion won.
Corporate bond sales also expanded 6.7 percent to 97.8 trillion won as companies rushed to secure funds amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
As of end-2020, the value of outstanding bonds stood at 2,261.3 trillion won, compared with 2,015.4 trillion won a year earlier.
Foreign investors owned 150.1 trillion won worth of South Korean bonds as of end-December, up 21.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data. (Yonhap)