Moon holds special meeting with economy ministers, BOK chief on virus impact

SEOUL South Korean President Moon Jae-in had a rare "special" meeting with the country's finance minister and central bank chief Friday amid a panic in the financial market triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was meant to review the economic and financial situations and discuss ways to fend off the fallout from the global spread of the virus, according to Moon's office.

It marked the first time that Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol has attended a Cheong Wa Dae session since he was reappointed to the post by Moon in 2018, which reflects how seriously the government takes what's going on in the equity market.

Besides Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, other economy-related ministers joined the 90-minute meeting, Cheong Wa Dae said without making public its results immediately.

The Moon administration has submitted an 11.7 trillion-won (US$9.55 billion) supplementary budget bill to the National Assembly for use in its fight against the virus and to minimize its economic impact.

The government is under growing pressure to expand the extra budget scale and the central bank is considering whether to hold an emergency session to cut benchmark interest rates.

The country's stock market continued its nose-dive Friday, forcing the stock exchange to temporarily halt trading on the main Kospi bourse and the tech-heavy Kosdaq alike.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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