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HomeWorldSaudi CB hopes UAE, Oman will join Gulf currency

Saudi CB hopes UAE, Oman will join Gulf currency

 Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor said Sunday he was hopeful the United Arab Emirates and Oman might still join the Gulf monetary pact.
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency head Mohammed al-Jasser said the two countries were among the most important members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and talks continue with them about “all matters” pertaining to Gulf economic integration.”
“That is why I have no reason to be pessimistic,” al-Jasser said in Kuwait while attending an economic forum.
He said the crucial issue was that the Gulf monetary council — the regional central bank’s precursor — be up and running in 2010.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar have agreed to a unified currency while Oman and the UAE have held out. GCC officials say they want to shift to the common currency by 2010, but experts say delays are likely.
Al-Jasser said Saudi Arabia has sanctioned the agreement and the other three states are expected to do the same by the beginning of next year.
The monetary union is seen as a major step toward setting up the equivalent of the European Union among the Gulf’s oil and gas rich states.
Al-Jasser said he expects the non-oil sector in his country, the Arab world’s largest economy and home to the world’s biggest proven reserves of oil, to grow at a “very healthy rate” in 2010. Asked to be more specific, he said anything over 4 percent.

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