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Japan to promote direct Asian currency exchanges

Talks planned with Thailand on bypassing dollar to cut conversion costs

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Most exchanges of yen for baht, shown here, still involve the dollar as an intermediary.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's Ministry of Finance seeks to create a market enabling direct exchanges of the yen and other Asian currencies without using the dollar as an intermediary, an idea that could reduce funding costs for financial institutions and businesses.

The proposal is a key part of a comprehensive plan to encourage broader use of Asian currencies, which will be laid out at a committee meeting as early as next week.

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