S.Korean experts see protectionist move as major systemic risk: survey

SEOUL, May 14 (Xinhua) -- South Korean experts saw global protectionist moves as the biggest systemic risk facing the local financial market, a central bank survey showed Monday.

According to the Bank of Korea (BOK) poll, 76 percent of respondents said global protectionism and rising pressure in trade are the key risk factor to the South Korean financial system.

It was a surge from 26 percent, who selected the protectionism as a key risk factor during a survey of last November.

The result was based on a survey of 72 experts conducted from April 16-27. The experts included executives of local financial institutions, researchers and college professors.

The protectionism was followed by massive household debts, which 74 percent of experts picked as a major system risk.

Household debts continued to grow as the BOK kept its benchmark interest rate at a record-low level. The central bank raised its target rate in November last year to 1.5 percent from an all-time low of 1.25 percent, the first rate increase in almost six and a half years.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's normalization of monetary policy was selected by 60 percent of respondents as a major system risk, trailed by uncertainty in the domestic real estate market, which 50 percent picked as a key risk factor.

Concerns over geopolitical risks tumbled to 38 percent from 82 percent tallied in the poll six months ago.

Détente emerged on the Korean Peninsula as the third inter-Korean summit, held on April 27 at the border village of Panmunjom, agreed to complete denuclearization and the turn of the current armistice agreement into a peace treaty by the end of this year.

The first-ever summit between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

[ Editor: WPY ]


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