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Currency changes in store

Currency changes in store

N EW plans to overhaul the country's currency system will be ready in about three

months, according to National Bank of Cambodia Deputy Governor Tioulong Saumura.

"We have not yet worked out any of the details, so I cannot tell you

what exactly the plans are and when they will come into effect," she

said.

The cost of minting and printing the new currency is estimated at

$1.6 million and will be met by the French government as part of a new aid

package. (See accompanying story) The contract will go to a French firm.

The issue came up during the visit to Cambodia of the French Minister of

Finance and Economy Edmond Alphandery, when proposals for major changes in the

present currency system were alluded to at a press conference on July 23.

"We are changing the system for two reasons: politics and the economy,"

Saumura said at the conference, adding: "The current banknotes were printed

under the old political regime. The new ones will probably depict King Sihanouk,

at least on the higher denomination notes.

"Also, for economic reasons,

we need to extend the range of the

denomination. We may even get rid of a few

zeroes."

She was unable to say whether dollars would cease to be legal

tender when the new currency is issued

The contract to print the notes is

still out to tender so work may not start till the end of 1994, journalists at

the conference were informed.

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