21 Sep '11, 5am

Myanmar calls in IMF to help cool soaring currency: YANGON - "How much do you want?" the old lady asks, pulling

Myanmar calls in IMF to help cool soaring currency: YANGON - "How much do you want?" the old lady asks, pulling

YANGON - "How much do you want?" the old lady asks, pulling out a wad of notes. Despite a soaring currency that has led Myanmar to call in the IMF, Yangon's illegal money changers are not short of customers. The woman, who conducts her business down a back alley in Myanmar's main city, sometimes changes her rate for the dollar against the kyat several times a day based on the gold price, her best indicator of the greenback's value. While the kyat is not your average safe haven amid the global financial turmoil, its value has risen sharply in recent years, dealing another blow to the authoritarian country's crumbling economy, particularly for exporters. "Almost every sector of our economy is suffering from the appreciation of the kyat," said Khin Maung Nyo, an independent economist in Yangon, the former capital and main business hub. Experts say possible reasons for the cur...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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