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 14 Feb 2009

Asean+3 to raise swap arrangement to $120bn

Finance ministers from 13 Asian countries will discuss expanding a currency swap scheme to $120 billion at a meeting in Thailand next weekend.

The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) plus Japan, China and South Korea agreed in May last year to pool bilateral currency swap arrangements under the so-called Chiang Mai Initiative in an $80 billion multilateral fund that could be tapped in emergencies.

"The meeting will discuss the expansion of swap arrangements to $120 billion and other forms of cooperation," Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij was quoted by Reuters as saying Friday at a news conference, confirming a figure mentioned in recent reports from Seoul.

The meeting is to be held on the resort island of Phuket on February 22.

Korn said the expanded swap scheme would have to ratified by regional leaders at a summit from February 27 to March 1 in Hua Hin, southwest of Bangkok, and could be implemented by the end of the year.

Korn said the Phuket meeting would also exchange views on measures to tackle the economic crisis as well as the enhancement of regional cooperation on trade and financial markets. Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.




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