weaker yen-Korean exports

SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is one of the three countries whose exports will be hit hard by the Japanese currency's weakness as many of its key shipments overlap with those of Japan, an economist at HSBC Bank Plc. said Wednesday.

Stephen King, chief economist at HSBC Bank, at a press conference said that since South Korea, China and Germany are the biggest competitors with Japan they will be highly affected by the weaker yen.

He said that machinery and transport equipments account for 58.3 percent of Japan's exports, compared with 54.1 percent for South Korea and 47.5 percent for China.

The yen has been under downward pressure as Japan vowed to implement an aggressive bond-buying program in a bid to tackle decades of deflation. The yen declined around 16 percent per the dollar in February, compared with six months earlier.

In turn, the Korean currency gained some 22.5 percent against the yen last month compared with September amid Japan's powerful monetary easing moves.

King likened the most probable outcome of Japan's so-called "Abenomics" to a damp squib, meaning that there is "big promise or high hope for great success, but in reality … not much or little (is) achieved."

He said that Japan's economic difficulty is related to not just macroeconomic problems, but also to structural constraints on growth.

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