KOR

Research Staff

Research Staff

LEE, Seungho Senior Research Fellow Capital Markets
Head of the Center, International Finance Research Center

Profile

Education
Ph.D., Economics, American University, 1996
MA, Economics, American University, 1993
Business Administration, Yonsei Univ. 1989
Professional Experience
Senior Research Fellow, Korea Capital Market Institute, 2011.1~
Senior Economist, IMF(APD), 2006.1~2009.1
Deputy Head, The Bank of Korea, 1989.1~2010.12

Publications

Recent changes in US dollar funding market and its implications on Korea Senior Research Fellow LEE, Seungho and others / Jan. 22, 2021
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Effects of FX Hedging on Korea’s Outward Portfolio Investment Senior Research Fellow LEE, Seungho and others / Jan. 25, 2019
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Features and Causes of Money Flows in Korea Senior Research Fellow LEE, Seungho / Dec. 20, 2016
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Opinion

Changing Environments of Monetary Policy Stance and Its Implications on Macroprudentiality / Aug. 24, 2021
With the upward trend of global inflation to continue into this year, major economies including the US are expected to witness a change in monetary policy stance and transition towards higher interest rates in the near future. Amid recent price hikes, Korea is also experiencing intensified financial imbalance where private sector debt has surged on the back of the increase in liquidity and leverage with prices of assets like property and stocks being on the rise. This reinforces the need for raising the policy interest rate. However, a steep rise in interest rates could aggravate interest payment burden of economic agents and thus, hinder domestic demand from entering a recovery phase. Also noteworthy is the possibility that rising inflation would trigger greater volatility of the financial market. Therefore, a monetary policy shift should be aligned with an inflation target by reflecting visible signs of recovery in the real economy and the job market, with focus on maintaining macro-prudentiality.
Central Bank Digital Currency: Meanings, Impacts, and Implications / Feb. 23, 2021
Recently, many economies around the globe have paid keen attention to central bank digital currency (CBDC), a form of central bank money that stores value digitally and settles a transaction between users via money transfer unlike physical currency. This is differentiated from cryptocurrency in that as a legal tender issued by a central bank it uses a conversion rate equivalent to that of conventional currency, and thus has no risk of value fluctuation. CBDC, if issued, is expected to improve payment convenience for individual economic entities. On the other hand, this could form a new interest rate regime and decrease bank deposits, possibly imposing wide-ranging impacts on monetary policy efficacy and financial stability. Because there are quite a few technological and legal hurdles to be overcome towards CBDC issuance, what’s needed is a cautious—rather than a hasty—approach backed by a thorough analysis on developments in other countries and the impacts.
Stability of Hong Kong’s Dollar Peg System and Challenges in Financial Hub Status / Sep. 01, 2020
Since China imposed the national security law on Hong Kong and the US revoked Hong Kong’s preferential trade status, uneasiness has been rising about the stability of Hong Kong’s dollar peg, and the city’s long-held status as a financial hub. However, it seems unlikely at this moment for the US to take action to undermine Hong Kong’s dollar peg because it could lead to immense adverse effects with no clear effect of keeping China in check. Reflecting such market expectations, financial and FX markets in Hong Kong have recently been stabilized. However, the lingering political and social unrest in Hong Kong and conflicts between the US and China could possibly weaken the city’s financial hub status as more firms, capital, and talents will flee the city. Hence, Korea’s financial institutions and investors should closely monitor financial market conditions and political conflicts between the US and China, and remain cautious about the possibility of Hong Kong’s weaker financial hub function from the long-term perspective.
Recent FX Liquidity Squeeze in Korea’s Securities Firms: Assessment and Challenges / Aug. 04, 2020
In March 2020, the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak triggered massive margin calls on contracts related to ELS issued by Korea’s securities firms. This soon led to a liquidity shortage in the foreign exchange (FX) market, which not only sharply pushed up the won-dollar exchange rate, but also exacerbated the imbalance in the FX swap market. As this could possibly occur again in any time in the future to undermine overall financial stability, the industry and authorities need to take the recent incident as an opportunity to build their FX business capabilities, and to raise awareness about the risk associated with foreign currency liquidity. Taking note of that their ELS issuance could increase their FX exposure, Korea’s securities firms should try to systematically manage the size of issuance and the proportion of self-hedging within their tolerable levels of foreign currency liquidity. Also critically important is a dual-sided approach for securing highly liquid foreign currency assets for normal times as well as liquidity channels for times of emergency. FX authorities should bolster prudential regulation, and step up their effort to prevent any FX liquidity issue in securities firms from spreading to the overall FX market.

Seminar Presentation