South Korea finance minister says will act to stabilise financial markets if needed

South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong Yeon speaks during his inaugural ceremony in Sejong government complex in Sejong, South Korea.
South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong Yeon speaks during his inaugural ceremony in Sejong government complex in Sejong, South Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea finance minister said on Wednesday (Aug 16) the government will act to stabilise financial markets if they become more volatile because of tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, but noted markets are already showing signs of stability.

"The government will closely monitor (financial) markets, and take measures to stabilise markets as needed in coordination with the Bank of Korea," Kim Dong Yeon said before a meeting with Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju Yeol.

Lee, who also spoke before the meeting which was arranged to discuss the economic impact from the risks posed by North Korea, said there was no need for serious concern because South Korea's economic fundamentals were strong.

The South Korean won has begun to recover from a one-month low reached on Friday after North Korea's leader this week delayed a decision on launching missiles at Guam, partly easing tensions with the United States.

Foreign investors have been net sellers of South Korean shares since Aug 9, offloading 1.31 trillion won (S$1.57 billion) worth of shares between last Wednesday and Monday this week.

Local financial markets were closed on Tuesday for a public holiday.