South Korea says U.S. must consider global effects of QE exit

SEOUL Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:17am EDT

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SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Tuesday it will press the United States at G20 meetings in Moscow this week to consider the repercussions for the global economy when the Federal Reserve decides to wind down its quantitative easing program.

The issues surrounding an "exit from unconventional monetary policies" would be discussed at the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from Wednesday to Friday, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a statement.

"The United States must carefully decide on the timing, speed and method of its exit strategy considering not only its domestic conditions but also the global effects," the finance ministry said.

South Korea and other countries are concerned that they could suffer rapid capital outflows if the U.S. Federal Reserve begins tapering its massive bond-buying program and global interest rates are pushed higher.

Many emerging market economies, including South Korea, have suffered sharp declines in their currencies and financial markets during the past month after comments by Fed officials fuelled speculation that the U.S. central bank would begin winding down its stimulus program later this year.

The South Korean finance ministry said the United States should clearly communicate its policy direction to markets to minimize uncertainty.

Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok is scheduled to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on July 20, but the meetings scheduled for Bank of Korea Governor Kim Chong-soo have not been made public.

The finance ministry said it would also call for reforms in other economies where policymakers have resorted to printing money, such as the the euro zone and Japan, in order to ensure that the monetary expansion leads to sustainable growth.

Hyun will also press Japan to push through structural reforms and plans to shore up its fiscal health. Japan is saddled with debt well over twice its annual output, and the largest in the industrial world.

A G20 summit of leaders will be held in September.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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