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Outbreak of coronavirus likely to have limited impact on financial market: KIC chief

All News 14:26 February 06, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- The outbreak of the new coronavirus will likely have a temporary and limited impact on the financial market, the head of South Korea's sovereign wealth fund said Thursday, despite its seemingly increasing impact on the economy and consumer sentiments.

"The Korea Investment Corp. (KIC) makes long-term investments and therefore does not give weight to one-off events," KIC CEO Choi Hee-nam said.

"Based on our experience with SARS and MERS, we believe the new coronavirus will only affect the market as a one-off event," he said in a meeting with reporters.

Choi's remarks come amid growing concerns the outbreak may soon begin to weigh down the country's economic growth by limiting its exports and local consumption.

People are already said to be shunning public places and social gatherings out of fear they may contract the virus that has killed more than 500 people already in China alone.

As of Thursday, South Korea has reported 23 confirmed cases of the disease but no fatalities.

Meanwhile, the KIC earlier said its investment earnings rate came to 15.39 percent in 2019, with its accumulated investment gains since its establishment in 2005 coming to US$49.2 billion.

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