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S. Korea ready to take contingency actions in case of market instability: finance minister

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Published : 2014-01-29 10:16
Updated : 2014-01-29 10:16

South Korea will take "swift" and "proactive" action against any financial market instability in accordance with its contingency plans, the country's top economic and financial policymaker said Wednesday, addressing growing worries over the fallout from U.S. Fed tapering on emerging market countries.

"We are closely watching the market on worries that the market instability could prolong in emerging markets, and that it could spill over into other emerging and even advanced countries at a time when the U.S. pushes to taper off its quantitative easing program," Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said at a meeting with other policymakers in Seoul.

"In case the market shows signs of volatility, we are ready to take action in a swift and proactive manner in accordance with our contingency plans," Hyun added.

Argentina and Turkey were among the first countries hit, with their currencies suffering serious depreciation from concerns that the U.S. move to cut back its stimulus program could spark a massive capital outflow from emerging countries.

The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting ends on Thursday (Korea time). South Korean markets will be closed until Monday for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Hyun noted the possibility of the FOMC deciding on an additional cutback to its quantitative easing programs and said the government will keep a close eye on its possible impact and ramifications on the local market.

The finance minister assured that market instability in emerging markets would have "limited" impact on South Korea given its healthy economic fundamentals but cautioned of both "excessive self-confidence" and "groundless anxiety." (Yonhap)

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