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IMF says China can top up stimulus but must focus on reform

TOKYO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - China has room to take fiscal stimulus measures if its economy slows further but should not lose sight of structural reforms and steps to address rapid credit growth, a senior International Monetary Fund official said on Wednesday.

Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department, said while it was too early to assess the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Asian economies, it added to risks to the region's growth outlook.

"(We) don't want to deny this event definitely increases the downside risk. Especially the downside risk will be large for countries which have close ties with China," he told a news conference in Tokyo. (Reporting by Leika Kihara and Daniel Leussink; Editing by Chris Gallagher)