BOK board member Suh: won unlikely to strengthen to pre-pandemic levels

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SEOUL, June 2 (Reuters) -The Bank of Korea's (BOK) monetary policy board member Suh Young-kyung said on Friday it was unlikely the South Korean won would strengthen to levels seen before the pandemic, without specifying a time frame.

Suh said it was because the won's recent weakness was due not only to cyclical factors but also to structural changes, such as intensifying competition against China, an ageing population and increasing demand for overseas investments.

She made the remarks during her participation in a panel discussion at the BOK International Conference held this week.

The won KRW=KFTC has weakened by 4% against the dollar so far this year, trading around 1,310 per dollar on Friday. It dropped 6% in 2022, when it hit a 14-year low of 1,444.2 per dollar at one point.

The won traded mostly in a range between 1,000 and 1,200 per dollar in the previous five years through 2021.

Despite the won's weakness and increased volatility since last year, Suh said risks were not high for a sudden stop in capital inflows.

The Bank of Korea, along with its peers in emerging economies, is facing a challenge to find a new balance between domestic price stability and financial stability, as well as external stability, Suh said.

For South Korea, it is important that sound macroeconomic policies are carried out side by side with measures for foreign exchange market stabilisation, Suh added.

Reporting by Jihoon Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong


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