Bank of Japan will keep easy monetary policy

Section:

From Reuters
Sunday, March 6, 2005

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?
type=topNews&storyID=7818513

BASEL, Switzerland -- Asian banks have reduced the share of deposits
held in U.S. dollars in favour of other currencies like the euro,
according to new central bank data released on Sunday.

The share of U.S.-dollar-denominated deposits placed with Asian
banks fell to 67 percent from 81 percent in September 2004 compared
to 2001, according to the Basel-based Bank for International
Settlements' latest quarterly report.

"The BIS banking statistics provide some tentative evidence that the
deposits placed abroad by banks in the region have been increasingly
denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar," said the BIS
in its quarterly report on the global economy and financial markets.

Moves by emerging central banks to diversify away from the dollar
and speculation that more central banks could do the same has
contributed to the dollar's three-year decline.

The shift was most evident among Indian banks, which cut their share
of dollar deposits placed abroad to 43 percent from 68 percent
during from 2001 to end-September 2004, said the BIS, which acts as
a central bank to the world's central banks.

Chinese banks cut their share of dollar deposits placed abroad
sharply from 83 percent 2001 until late 2002, but have hovered
around 68 percent since then, the BIS said.

"The above figures are suggestive of such a shift away from US
dollar exposure for the region's banking sector," the BIS said.

However, the BIS warned that the evidence was "far from conclusive"
in indicating a general shift out of the dollar by Asia overall. In
absolute terms, the amount of dollar deposits continued to rise.
Asian residents also continue to purchase U.S. Treasury securities,
the BIS said.

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