S.Korea freezes policy rate at 3.5 pct to see rate hikes effect



South Korea’s central bank on Thursday froze its policy rate in a bid to wait and see the effect of back-to-back rate hikes for the past one and a half years.

Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Rhee Chang-yong and other monetary policymakers decided to leave the benchmark seven-day repurchase rate unchanged at 3.50 per cent.

The decision was not made unanimously as one policymaker cast a dissenting vote to claim a rate hike.

It was in line with market expectations. According to the Korea Financial Investment Association’s poll of 100 fixed-income experts, a total of 66 per cent predicted the rate freeze this month.

The BOK delivered seven back-to-back rate hikes between August 2021 and January 2023, raising its policy rate by 3.0 percentage points from a record low of 0.50 per cent..—Xinhua