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Government and the banks offer Lingling aid

Sept 10,2019
The government and the financial community are doing their part to support the victims of Typhoon Lingling, which killed three people and injured two dozen over the weekend.

On Monday during a high-ranking government official meeting, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki requested government departments to respond swiftly, especially in support of the farming and fishery communities.

“Due to the strong winds, agricultural produce, livestock and fish farms have been affected,” Hong said. The government “will provide disaster insurance and funding for repairs as well as interest cuts or extended maturities for agricultural and livestock management funds to ease the burden.”

The government plans to tap into the disaster recovery special fund, a pool of 150 billion won ($125.7 million), as well as the disaster relief supply budget, which has 200 million won.

The government also plans to provide tax relief for businesses that have lost more than 20 percent of their assets due to the natural disaster, while extending the due date on their taxes, including corporate taxes, value added taxes and comprehensive real estate taxes for a maximum of nine months.

The financial authorities - the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Supervisory Service - said they will also enact measures that will ease the burdens on businesses.

This includes extending the maturity of loans and guarantees made by state-own financial institutions for a maximum of one year.

Additionally, state-run financial companies will guarantee as much as 300 million won worth of loans for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the typhoon.

Major commercial banks, including Woori, Shinhan, KB and KEB Hana, on Monday announced their support for those affected by the typhoon.

Woori Bank said it will provide financial aid worth 300 billion won, particularly targeting SMEs and self-employed businesses.

The financial aid includes 300 million won of loans for operating capital for businesses as well as extending the maturity of existing loans for a maximum of one year. Also, it is giving emergency loans for daily necessities, to a maximum of 20 million won, to individuals affected by the typhoon. Other financial support for individuals includes cutting loan interest rates as much as one percentage point and waiving wire transfer commissions.

Woori Card will be suspending credit card payments for a maximum of six months while waiving interest payment for a maximum of three months.

Shinhan Bank said it will be providing aid worth 100 billion won, including total loans of 80 billion won to SMEs. Each company that applies for the new loans will be given a maximum of 300 million won. Interest rates will be cut as much as one percentage point. It said it will supply as much as 20 billion won for individuals, who can borrow up to 30 million won each.

KB Kookmin said it will loan a maximum of 500 million won to businesses and 20 million won to individuals.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]


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