Gulf monetary union will take time, says Saudi bank governor

Reuters, Saturday 26 Mar 2011

Plans for single currency continue after UAE and Oman withdraw

The governor of Saudi Arabia's central bank said in remarks published Saturday that plans for a Gulf monetary union are still in their early stages and a single currency would take time.

Governor Mohammed al-Jasser told Al-Hayat newspaper, "The Gulf monetary union project is so huge and is still in its foundation stage."

He added: "There are no projects or the work of important economic parked on the monetary union ... so we will take the necessary time. It doesn't mean our work will slow down."

He did not say when he expected the launch of the single currency.

Governors of central banks from the Gulf Arab states met in Doha last week where there discussed some of the steps necessary to launch a single currency.

The United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman withdrew from plans for a single currency, but Al-Jasser said it was hoped they would return to the project in time.

"This is up to them ... it depends on the circumstances of each country and we respect that and hope they will return to the council when conditions are favorable to them."

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