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Mizzima: Asia's currencies on skid

Asia's currencies on skid row?

New Delhi, August 12, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

Local currencies of Thailand, Bangladesh, India and Burma plunged into
sharp decline in exchanging with U.S dollar in the past three days,
business reports pointed out. Thailand' Baht, India's Rupee, Burma's
Kyat and Bangladesh's Taka have plummeted to a record slump against U.S.
dollar and the currency slide has made the governments to review the
volatile situation of foreign exchange market in their respective

India's rupee tumbled down to a new all time low of Rs. 46.05/10 to the
dollar yesterday, breaching the psychological level of Rs. 46 versus the
dollar. Although it closed at Rs.45.80 yesterday evening, judging by the
recent trend of rupee-dollar exchange rate, the rupee has dropped by
almost five per cent in the past four-five months, with the slide
accelerating in the past two weeks in India. Indian Prime Minister Mr.
Atal Behari Vajpayee had to intervene the matter by convening a
high-level ministerial meeting yesterday to review the situation.

In Dhaka, the central bank of Bangladesh yesterday decided to devalue
the country's Taka currency against the U.S dollar by a record six
percent amid the reports of Taka slide in the exchange with dollar. The
Taka plummeted to a rate of 56.50 per U.S dollar, compared with 53 Taka
last month.

Another neighbor, Burma faces a sharp plunge in the exchange rate of the
Kyat against the dollar. Exchange rate in Rangoon and Mandalay stands
around 393 Kyat to the U.S. dollar today.

The exchange rate in Indo-Burma border trade has similarly slipped to 79
Kyat to one Indian Rupee, compared with 77 Kyat three days ago. Five
months ago, the exchange rate was 68 Kyat to one Indian Rupee. As a
result, the flow of goods from Burma to India across the border has
stopped. "The border trade (across Moreh) was virtually halted due to
volatile currency transaction", said a trader based in Moreh, border
town of India with Burma. "It is likely that the Kyat (Burma) will fall
more and more in the exchange in near future", he continues.