Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - When it comes to public firms' net asset value, Korea is No. 1 in the OECD with a total of $177.7 billion, according to data from the organization. Korea was followed by France ($157.7 billion), Norway ($131 billion) and Italy ($105.4 billion).
Despite their growing, crucial roles in the nation's economy, however, there are also concerns that their bigger size may undermine the nation's fiscal stability because their debts are growing at an alarming level.
The combined debts of 286 state-run firms amounted to 464 trillion won ($409.2 billion) at the end of 2011, up 35 percent compared with three years earlier, according to the Finance Ministry.
Analysts who say public firms' debts may threaten liquidity are urging them to slim down their business projects.