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Economy

BOK becomes 1st major Asia central bank to hike rates in pandemic

Bank of Korea lifts benchmark by 25 basis points to 0.75%

The logo of the Bank of Korea is seen on the top of its building in Seoul.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- The Bank of Korea raised its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points to 0.75% on Thursday, making it the first major central bank in Asia to hike rates since the onset of the pandemic.

The BOK's decision to lift the rate from a record low level was its first tightening of policy since November 2018. The move, aimed at cooling the property market as household debt surges, was forecast by 16 of 30 analysts surveyed by Reuters.

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