The debts of 41 public enterprises including Korea Land and Housing Corporation and KEPCO is expected to surpass W500 trillion (US$1=W1,122) next year, or half of Korea's GDP.
The Ministry of Strategy and Finance on Wednesday said the debts of public enterprises will total W532.3 trillion in 2013, up 9.7 percent from this year. That would raise their debt-to-equity ratio rise from the present 222.1 percent to 234.4 percent.
Their debts increased mainly because of various state-run projects they are involved in. L&H took on the construction of the new administrative city of Sejong, in South Chungcheong Province, as well as the four rivers project, and its debt load will rise W9.5 trillion to W151.8 trillion in 2013.
Government measures reining in public utility charges to curb inflation also worsened many state-run enterprises' debt burden.