WORLD SKorea raises interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 pct

WORLD

SKorea raises interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 pct

Xinhua

09:01, August 26, 2021

A currency trader stands in front of screens showing foreign exchange rates at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. (Photo: AP)

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's central bank on Thursday raised its policy rate by 25 basis points, marking the first rate hike in 15 months amid the continued COVID-19 pandemic.

Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol and other monetary policy board members decided to lift the benchmark seven-day repurchase rate to 0.75 percent from an all-time low of 0.50 percent.

The BOK lowered the key rate by 25 basis points to 0.50 percent in May last year, after slashing it by 50 basis points in March to tackle an economic downturn from the pandemic.

The rate hike decision was unexpected. According to a Korea Financial Investment Association (KFIA) survey of 100 fixed-income experts, 67 predicted a rate freeze, with the remaining 33 expecting a rate increase.

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