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South Korea Central Bank Nominee Says Risks Mounting

The uncertainty includes a quicker normalisation in the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, the economic slowdown in China and the Ukraine war

Banknotes printed at the Bank of Korea. The central bank faces uncertainty in external conditions, including a quicker normalisation in the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy. Photo: Reuters.


South Korea’s nominee as its new central bank chief said on Thursday that worries about inflationary and economic risks are mounting and that he would thoroughly review how to manage growth, price pressures and financial imbalances.

“Concerns that inflation and economic risks at home can intensify simultaneously are mounting as uncertainty in external conditions heightens,” Rhee Chang-yong, a veteran International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, said in a written speech.

The uncertainty in external conditions Rhee mentioned includes a quicker normalisation in the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, economic slowdown in China due to the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant and the Ukraine war.

“I will elaborate my ideas on the policy and organisational management through the upcoming parliamentary hearing session,” Rhee said.

His remarks come a day after the presidential office nominated Rhee as the new governor of the Bank of Korea (BOK). The bank said Rhee will leave the IMF in Washington on March 29 and arrive in Seoul on the afternoon of March 30.

Before starting his four-year term, Rhee will be subject to a parliamentary hearing session about his economic expertise and ethical standards. It is not known when Rhee will officially join the board.

The central bank said board member Joo Sang-yong will serve as acting chairman of its Monetary Policy Board for six months as governor Lee Ju-yeol’s term ends later this month.

BOK also said it has not decided which board member will preside over the news conference after its next policy interest rate decision on April 14.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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