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LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, Korea

S.Korea central bank freezes key rate for 2nd month

Policy makers of the central bank of South Korea unanimously left unchanged the benchmark 7-day repo rate at 3 percent for September.

The Bank of Korea also froze the key rate last month after delivering a surprise cut in July in a bid to cushion the bitter impact of the eurozone debt crisis on the local economy.

The decision came as several global central banks are set to take quantitative easing steps to prop up growth, dogged by the eurozone debt turmoil.

Bank of Korea Gov. Kim said the current level of the key rate does not seem to have deviated much from a neutral level.

"The BOK policymakers will make their rate decision flexibly based on the latest data available every month," the governor said.

He said that although expectations for a rate cut prevailed in the market, the decision on when to take action will be based on the BOK board members' assessment of economic situations.

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