Finance ministry steps up monitoring of China’s property woes

The finance ministry launched a special team to step up its monitoring of concerns about China's economy, with property woes in China deepening its economic trouble, according to ministry officials on Sunday.

The move came after China's property giant Evergrande Group filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. last week, with another major player Country Garden struggling with debt problems, sparking concerns over potential repercussions for the South Korean economy and its financial market.

"As the South Korean economy becomes more sensitive to China-related issues, we are bolstering our monitoring on related issues," an official from the finance ministry said.

Another official from financial authorities said South Korean banks have no direct exposure to the latest crisis of Chinese property firms.

Experts, however, claim the crisis could have an indirect impact on South Korea if it triggers jitters in the global financial market, potentially resulting in a worldwide economic slowdown.

In a separate move, the finance ministry is also making efforts to take advantage of Beijing's decision to allow group tours to the country and plans to release detailed measures in early September.

The measures include increasing the number of flights between South Korea and China, and opening additional visa application centers in Beijing and Shenyang.

China's tourism authorities said earlier this month they have decided to lift the ban on group tours to South Korea, ending a six-year hiatus caused by frayed relations following the deployment of a U.S. defense system here.

Source: Yonhap News Agency