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Hold Riels Sell Dollars

The Riel appreciated significantly last week against the U.S. dollar in what Minister

of Finance and Economics Sam Rainsy says is a reflection of "political stability"

in the country.

"We, as Cambodians, are very proud to see the value of our national currency

re-appreciated. This is another testimony to the return of confidence in the riel,"

Rainsy told a press conference last Saturday.

The Riel, which had been trading at between 2,600 and 2,700 per dollar for several

months, suddenly dropped to 2,000 per dollar before leveling off at 2,100 on Nov.

16.

The Riel's strengthening affected prices on imported goods such as gasoline and cigarettes.

The price of a liter of gasoline dropped from 600 to 500 riels overnight

Rainsy attributed political stability as the main factor of this "automatic

drop"- as he called it - which would help the living conditions of the majority.

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