SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s top financial regulator has convened an emergency meeting to intensify monitoring of the local financial market following North Korea’s long-range rocket launch, an official said Sunday.
In the meeting, which took place at 11:00 a.m., the Financial Services Commission (FSC) checked the impact of the rocket launch on global and local markets and discussed ways to deal with possible risks.
“Given the past experiences, a North Korean rocket launch will not likely have a huge impact on the local and global financial markets,” said FSC Vice Chairman Jeong Eun-bo who chaired the emergency meeting. “But we have to stand still and take swift action if necessary.”
Jeong said the FSC will work closely with the Finance Ministry and the central bank to cope with any fallout from a change in the global financial market.
“The South Korean economy has strong fundamentals in terms of foreign and fiscal soundness so that we will not be shaken by this circumstantial change,” he said.’
The South Korean financial market has been struggling with rising uncertainties at home and abroad such as faltering exports and fast-falling oil prices.
Its exports, the key economic driver for Asia’s fourth-largest economy, plunged 18.5 percent in January from a year earlier, marking the largest on-year drop in more than 6 years.
The South Korean stock and foreign exchange markets will be closed until Wednesday along with Hong Kong, China and Taiwan for the Lunar New Year’s holiday.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said it has launched a round-the-clock monitoring system on the global financial market to check the fluctuation of foreign currency rates and other economic indices.
“The government will take firm action to stabilize the market if we detect any unusual signs,” Vice Finance Minister Choi Sang-mok said in a joint meeting with officials from the FSC and the Bank of Korea (BOK).
“We will oversee every movement of the economy and the financial market around the clock.”
The ministry will hold a macroeconomic meeting on Wednesday to check the long-term economic effects of the North Korean provocation.
The BOK said it also held a contingency meeting presided over by Governor Lee Ju-yeol to tighten its market oversight functions during and after the market-closing holiday.
The central bank said it will run a real-time monitoring task force 24 hours a day and map out market-stabilizing policies if necessary.