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GCC plans to delay monetary union

Representatives from the GCC Secretariat have called for the official delay of the establishment of the Gulf monetary union.

Representatives from the GCC Secretariat called for the official delay of the establishment of the Gulf monetary union today, in a speech delivered at the GCC Banking Conference in Manama. The announcement marks the first official recognition that the original deadline of Jan 1 2010 is no longer feasible, a point many analysts have made over the past year. Nasser al Kaud, the deputy of the assistant secretariat general for economics affairs at the GCC, called "for the setting of a new timetable for issuing the new currency and putting it in circulation". He delivered the speech on behalf of secretary-general of Abdel Rahman al Attiyah, the secretary-general of the GCC, who was unable to attend the conference.

The GCC Monetary Council, an internal body within the GCC secretariat, will be charged with establishing a new deadline for the introduction of the currency. Although the monetary council is not yet formed, it is slated to be created by December of this year. It will be composed of two internal bodies ? a board of governors composed of the central bank governors of the GCC, and an executive body which is yet to be appointed.

The monetary council will also be charged with deciding on a location for the GCC central bank, the name of the new currency, and whether the currency will be pegged to other currencies or float freely. tpantin@thenational.ae

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