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August 26, 2019

Seoul to take preemptive steps to stabilize markets

PUBLISHED : August 07, 2019 - 09:30

UPDATED : August 07, 2019 - 09:30

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South Korea will take swift and bold steps if necessary to help stabilize the financial markets, the country‘s finance minister said on Aug. 7, assuring that the country’s economic fundamentals remain strong despite what he called “temporary risks.”

In an emergency meeting with other top financial officials, including the head of the Bank of Korea, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said the increased volatility in the market was the result of “short-term risks” that happened to overlap.


He vowed “bold and swift” measures to help stabilize the market when necessary.

“Under the contingency plan that has already been devised, (the government) will take swift and bold steps through all available means, such as stock market stabilization measures and easing regulations on buybacks and short selling, at a suitable time,” Hong said before the meeting.

Wednesday’s meeting came in the face of an apparent stock market crash amid the escalating trade tension between the United States and China, and more recently, another looming trade spat between Seoul and Tokyo.

The country’s top economic policymaker said global stock markets are generally showing weaknesses as concerns of a global slowdown grow, while uncertainties over a US rate cut continue and the US-China trade dispute escalates.

“Domestically, sluggish exports and investment caused by external conditions, along with poor business performance and Japan’s export restrictions are adding to difficulties,” he said.

By Ram Garikipati and newswires (ram@heraldcorp.com)

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