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    China will maintain the stability of its national currency, the renminbi, and"alleviate the impact of the Asian financial crisis", the governor of the People's Bank of China, Dai Xianglong, said in Macau inpa5gr1.jpg (14745 bytes) May.

     Addressing an international conference on central banking policies at the Macau Cultural Centre on May 14, Mr Dai said that "with a view to protecting the interests of foreign investors and in order to avoid a new round of currency devaluation in Southeast Asia, we have chosen a policy of stabilising the renminbi".

     "The stability of the renminbi has firm grounds," China's top central banker said, adding that at the end of last year the balance of registered foreign debt stood at about US $ 146 billion, corresponding to a year-on-year growth of 11.5 per cent. Mr Dai also said that at the end of April, foreign exchange
reserves topped US $ 146.7 billion, "exceeding 12-month cover of imports".

     "The Macau pataca and the renminbi will continue to circulate as legal tenders in Macau and the Chinese mainland, respectively," he said, adding that Macau would not introduce any foreign exchange control mechanisms after the handover. "The Macau pataca will remain convertible," Mr Dai pledged.

     China's number-one banker also said that the People's Bank of China would not intervene in Macau's internal financial affairs.

     Mr Dai said, the government of the post-handover Macau Special Administrative Region "will continue to be responsible forsupervising financial institutions in Macau in line with international practice, including financial institutions from the Chinese mainland".

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