South Korea finance minister says exports would be hurt if Samsung scraps Galaxy Note 7

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South Korea's finance minister said on Tuesday that Samsung Electronic Co Ltd's <005930.KS> deepening crisis over its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone would hurt exports if the phone model is scrapped altogether.

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"Right now we can't tell what the impact will be in the long term. It's up to the company and the government cannot interfere," said Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Seoul.

"But if they do scrap the model, it will have a negative impact on exports."

Samsung Electronics halted sales of the Note 7 smartphones earlier in the day and told owners to stop using them while it investigates reports of fires, fuelling expectations the tech giant will scrap the flagship device.

(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)