KDB to inject $1.7bn into overseas projects

The state-run lender aims to help local firms win tenders launched by the AIIB, the Chinese-led development bank.

The Korea Development Bank is targeting $1.7 billion worth of overseas project financing in 2016, a 25 percent increase on last year’s figure. 

The bank provided $1.36 billion in such support in 2015, according to local reports. 

It expects to achieve this goal by financing foreign projects won by Korean companies. The country’s Finance Ministry said South Korean firms are working to win some $35 billion in Asian development contracts by 2020. 

Earlier this month, it formed a tie-up with the Korea Energy Agency to cooperate in alternative energy, energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. KDB has also partnered with two other institutions, microgrid provider LG CNS and solar panel manufacturer Hanwha Q CELLS, to support clean energy schemes. 

The bank has also teamed up with Woori Bank, Samsung Life Insurance and National Credit Union Federation of Korea to finance some 80 percent of the JPY11.3 billion ($102.2 million; €90.6 million) Hokkaido Solar Power project in Japan. The 39MW facility is the first solar project sponsored abroad by Korean power utility KEPCO. 

The bank has also provided financing to a solar power plant in Ontario, Canada, and an offshore wind power project in the UK. 

The partnerships come as the KDB seeks to become an implementing entity of the UN-led Green Climate Fund.
The South Korean government also plans to set up a consultative body so that state-run lenders and private financial firms can help local firms win projects launched by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). 

It is understood that policy lenders including the KDB, the Korea Export-Import Bank and the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation will lead the consultative body along with global investment banks and asset management firms. 

The government will also create a KRW10 billion ($8.75 million; €7.76 million) trust fund to help local companies participate in the AIIB projects, according to Korean news agency Yonhap.