Japan-Singapore currency swap deal to be worth $ 1 bil

MANILA, Aug. 7 Kyodo

A planned bilateral currency swap arrangement between Japan and Singapore will be worth $1 billion, a senior Japanese Finance Ministry official said Thursday.

Japan and Singapore reached in July a basic agreement on a swap deal aimed at ensuring stability in the currency market by supplying short-term liquidity and are expected to sign it around this fall after finalizing details, the official said.

The move is part of a project agreed upon by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, South Korea and China to set up a currency swap network through a set of bilateral pacts to prevent a currency crisis.

The accord marks Japan’s completion of such bilateral arrangements with all five major ASEAN countries — Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore — as well as China and South Korea.

Japanese Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa announced the basic Japan-Singapore agreement at the meeting of finance ministers of ASEAN and its three dialogue partners from East Asia held in Manila on Thursday.

The currency swap scheme, known as the Chiang Mai Initiative, was agreed upon by the ASEAN-plus-three finance ministers at their meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in May 2000.

Since the launch of the initiative in May 2000, 12 bilateral swap pacts worth a total of $31.5 billion have been signed and four more such arrangements are expected to be concluded by the end of this year, including one between Japan and Singapore.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Kyodo News International, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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