Energy firms issue most bonds through Aug.

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's energy firms issued the largest volume of corporate bonds through August this year, data showed Tuesday, due mainly to the prolonged economic slump weighing down other sectors.

According to the data by KDB Daewoo Securities Co., the amount of debts floated by local energy firms in 2013 reached 4.5 trillion won (US$4 billion) as of this month, taking up 19.3 percent of the total corporate bond issuance.

Financial firms ranked second by issuing 2.6 trillion won, or 11 percent of the total, trailed by construction companies with 2.4 trillion won, or 10.23 percent, the data also showed.

Market watchers said energy firms, which ranked second in 2011 and 2012, moved a notch up as the amount of bonds issued by financial firms and builders fell on-year due to an economic slump, which dented their business sentiment.

By companies, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., the state-run operator of nuclear power plants, issued the largest volume of 1.1 trillion won in debts over the cited period, to secure cash for five plants that are under construction.

Korea South-East Power Co. and Korea Southern Power Co. issued 910 billion won and 700 billion won, respectively, through August this year. Korea East-West Power Co. floated 500 billion won.

Hana Financial Group Inc. issued the largest volume among financial firms by 950 billion won, followed by Shinhan Financial Group Co. with 800 billion won and KB Financial Group with 350 billion won.

Among construction firms, Hanwha Engineering