Bank of Korea board cautious on more rate hikes - Jan meeting minutes

SEOUL, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Most Bank of Korea board members at a Jan. 13 meeting turned cautious about interest rates rises, even though a majority voted for one on that day, meeting minutes showed on Tuesday.

Two of six members cited in the minutes opposed the rise implemented on that day, one of those two also saying caution was needed in relation to any later tightening.

Three who did vote for the Jan. 13 rise called for a cautious stance to follow it.

Just one, also voting for the rise, saw further tightening of monetary policy after Jan. 13 as appropriate.

The board raised the country's policy interest rate (KROCRT=ECI) by 25 basis points to 3.50%, in line with then market expectations.

"We need to be cautious in making decisions about further interest rate increases after taking into account the sluggish economic growth and the burden on financial stability," said a member who voted for the rise.

The minutes exclude remarks by Governor Rhee Chang-yong and do not identify the speakers.

After the rise was announced, Rhee hinted that the Bank of Korea might pause in its tightening drive. Market interest rates now imply that investors do not expect further interest rate increases.

Reporting by Choonsik Yoo and Jihoon Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue and Bradley Perrett

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