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Asia crisis fund tops $150 billion

Asia crisis fund tops $150 billion article image

A conglomerate of 13 Asian nations will build an emergency fund of US$120 billion (A$163 billion) to use during economic downturn. The initiative was announced as an aside to the Asian Development Bank annual meeting in Indonesia at the weekend. Almost a third of the funds in The Chiang Mai Initiative will come from China and Japan, with South Korea committing 16 percent and the rest coming from the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The fund will mitigate some of the effects of capital flight in the region by offering an emergency balance of payments to affected countries. A joint statement by the region's finance ministers read: "The current global situation requires more concerted efforts to enhance confidence, maintain financial stability, and prevent further decline in economic growth. The deepening global economic downturn, coupled with heightened risk aversion in financial markets, has adversely impacted trade and investment in the region." The conglomerate will also initiate a $US500 million (A$679 billion) guarantee for local currency corporate bonds issued within the region. In a separate initiative, Japan will supply up to 6 trillion yen (A$82 billion) to support its neighbours in an economic downturn, which Japan's Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano hopes will promote the use of the yen in the ASEAN region.

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