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PREVIEW-Growth, dissenters point to first Bank of Korea rate hike in 6 years - poll

- poll@

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/urlcpurl://apps.cp./Apps/cb-polls?RIC=KROCRT%3DECI poll data

* 18 of 21 economists see BOK to raise interest rates on Nov. 30

* Nov exports seen +10.1 pct y/y, imports +13.7 pct y/y

* Nov CPI rise seen +1.80 pct y/y

* Oct industrial output seen +0.2 pct m/m

SEOUL, Nov 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates for the first time in more than six years at its Nov. 30 meeting, a Reuters poll found on Tuesday, ending a five-year easing cycle in an economy that is growing well above trend.

Eighteen of 21 economists polled by Reuters said they see the Bank of Korea (BOK) raising its policy rate by 25 basis points on Thursday, while the three others saw rates on hold at the current record-low 1.25 percent.

The won surged and bond yields jumped in the past month as investors anticipated rates may increase as soon as November, far earlier than the previous consensus. That came after the bank revealed that three of the seven board members at its October meeting said a hike was needed soon.

Asia's fourth-largest economy has been riding an unexpectedly robust export cycle on strong global demand for memory chips, which helped the economy to post its fastest expansion in seven years last quarter.

July-September data out last month showed GDP grew 1.4 percent on-quarter to mark the biggest jump in seven years, handily beating forecasts.

"Surprising GDP for the third quarter made it very convincing for the BOK to raise rates in November, which was pretty much priced in, pushing the yields of South Korea's three-year treasury bonds near and above 2.15 percent for quite a while," said Stephen Lee, an economist at Meritz Securities.

The yield on three-year treasury bonds is 2.153 percent, hovering near a three-year high and up from 2.00 percent on Oct. 19 when the bank upgraded its economic outlook and left policy rates on hold.

Worries over a slowdown in the housing market will keep the BOK's monetary tightening cycle "very gradual," and could even push back the timing of an interest rate hike, said Moon Hong-cheol, an economist at Dong-bu Securities.

"The housing market issue is very much a consideration for the central bank's policy decision, and therefore the BOK will hold rates this month to further monitor the new mortgage rules," said Moon, adding that he expects a rate hike in January.

South Korea imposed additional mortgage curbs last month on owners of multiple homes over concerns a build-up in household debt could leave the economy exposed to a crash. The new rules take effect next year.

The Bank of Korea will also be monitoring inflation, which has been weaker than expected. It is seen unchanged at 1.8 percent this month, a Reuters survey found, still short of the BOK's 2 percent target.

The same survey found exports were seen likely to rise 10.1 percent in November from a year earlier, marking another robust month, helped by high sales of memory chips and petroleum products. Imports are seen likely to grow 13.7 percent in November.

South Korea's industrial production is expected to increase 0.2 percent in October after edging up 0.1 percent in September. (Reporting by Dahee Kim and Cynthia Kim; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang, Yuna Park and Haejin Choi; Editing by Eric Meijer)