S.Korea sets out economic support plan after ferry disaster

SEOUL Thu May 8, 2014 9:44pm EDT

SEOUL May 9 (Reuters) - South Korea said on Friday it would spend more of this year's fiscal budget during the first half and use the central bank's lending facility for smaller firms to support businesses affected by the ferry disaster.

The Ministry of Finance and Strategy said in a statement it would allocate 57 percent of this year's planned budget spending to the first half of the year, up from 55 percent originally planned.

The ministry said domestic tourism, some retail and lodging businesses have been hit especially hard by reduced spending after the April 16 capsizing of the Sewol ferry, in which nearly 300 passengers were killed.

The ministry said funds in the Bank of Korea's 2.9 trillion won ($2.84 billion) special lending facility for smaller firms would be used to support businesses affected by the ferry accident. ($1 = 1022.8500 Korean Won) (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo)