S.Korea president: world economic crisis not over

October 13, 2009

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak    SEOUL, Oct 13 (Reuters) – South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said on Tuesday it was premature for the country to end its crisis management status, saying the world economy was not out of the woods yet.
   “I believe our government must maintain its crisis management system for the time being because the world economy has not come out of the crisis yet,” a statement from the presidential Blue House quoted Lee as saying during a scheduled cabinet meeting.
    Later, Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun told a parliamentary session government mortgage lending controls imposed last month were taking effect as real estate prices in the capital area were showing signs of stabilising.
   “Real estate prices that had been growing fast in the capital areas are now stabilising after the introduction of DTI (debt-to-income ratio) measures,” he said, referring to the government’s move last month to limit the amount of mortgage loans depending on the borrower’s income.
   The comments came after the central bank chief’s remarks giving credit to the lending controls and calling for caution about economic optimism dampened expectations among investors for an interest rate increase this year. [ID:nSP479672]
   The Bank of Korea has held the benchmark 7-day repurchase agreement rate <KROCRT=ECI> steady at a record-low 2.0 percent for the past eight consecutive months after reductions totalling 3.25 percentage points over four months since last October.
   Its governor, Lee Seong-tae, expressed in August and September his concern about rising housing prices, convincing investors to price in heightened risk of an early increase in interest rates. (Reporting by Yoo Choonsik; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner) ((choonsik.yoo@thomsonreuters.com; +82 2 3704 5580; Reuters Messaging: choonsik.yoo.reuters.com@reuters.net)) ((If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com)) Keywords: KOREA ECONOMY/CRISIS 
  
Tuesday, 13 October 2009 03:56:31RTRS [nSEO367164] {C}ENDS

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