South Korea has recouped 60.6 percent of the public funds it injected to bail out troubled financial firms during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, the financial watchdog said Friday. The country had retrieved 102.2 trillion won (US$87.2 billion) of a total of 168.6 trillion won in public funds as of the end of August, according to the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The recovery rate was up from 59.9 percent seen at the end of last year, the watchdog added.The South Korean government poured massive amounts of taxpayer money into local financial institutions to rescue them from bankruptcy when the financial crisis erupted in late 1997. Meanwhile, the FSC said the country had retrieved 1.2 trillion won, or 19.8 percent, of a total of 6 trillion won pumped in to stave off market instability in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. South Korea manages two tranches of public funds. The latter was created in 2009 in a bid to bolster the health of the local finance sector by helping buy out soured loans and assets of bankrupt firms.