(Adds comments, market reaction and background)
* Daily stock trade limit to be changed to plus-minus 30 pct, from 15 pct
* First change in the movement since late 1998, but no timing set
By Christine Kim
SEOUL, Aug 12 (Reuters) - South Korea will double the daily price movement limit on stocks listed on the main board for the first time in nearly 16 years, as newly-appointed Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan spearheads an economic revival campaign.
Each stock listed on the Korea Exchange will be allowed to rise or fall by up to 30 percent from its previous closing price, compared with 15 percent at present, the government said in a joint statement from six ministries and one agency.
The main bourse took the change in stride, rising 0.6 percent on the day as of 0032 GMT.
Officials at the Financial Services Commission (FSC), which is mainly in charge of changing the limit, said the timing would be confirmed as soon as possible after further discussions with academics and market participants.
The government said it hopes this and other measures unveiled on Tuesday will lift the contribution from the financial sector to 8.0 percent of the national total in 2017, from 6.7 percent recorded in 2012.
It would be the first change of the price movement limit since late 1998, when it was expanded from 12 percent during the height of a financial crisis, to make financial markets more capable of reflecting changing conditions.
"Changing the limit was talked about for some time, but I don't know how much of an impact this will have on markets. Sentiment may improve on the fact that the authorities are moving to ease regulation," said Moon Jung-hui, an economist at KB Investment & Securities in Seoul.
The FSC has yet to decide whether the limit will be raised in one move, or in steps. The changed limit will be applied to the biggest Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) market first, then later to the junior KOSDAQ market.
In addition to the financial sector, the government also selected six service business areas for especially strong support - health and medical, tourism and cultural content, education, logistics and software.
The support will focus on easing regulations rather than new government spending. For example, the government plans to prevent start-up businesses from dying out by providing mentoring services and networking resources.
Regulations on tourist visas will also be eased to boost the number of offshore visitors to the country's medical facilities while incentives will be created to encourage small-to-medium sized businesses to list their companies on the country's stock index.
The results may not be as exactly as the government expects them to be, but the public mood could improve as the government actively displays its willingness to change regulations and boost the economy, said Moon.
The new measures follow economic stimulus policy plans the government introduced late last month to jumpstart faltering domestic demand, including $11 billion in additional public spending and an easing of mortgage rules.
The finance ministry expects South Korea's economic growth to accelerate to 3.7 percent this year from 3.0 percent last year but is worried that downside severe risks remain while domestic demand is shrinking.
The government said the new measures announced on Tuesday would result in about 15 trillion won ($14.6 billion) of investment flowing into domestic industries and the creation of about 180,000 jobs over the next three years.
The plans announced on Tuesday are anticipated to bring about investment of 15 trillion won and create roughly 180,000 jobs in the next three years, the finance ministry said in a statement. (Editing by Eric Meijer)