Gulf countries want single currency target as dollar peg inflation goes up

DOHA, April 6, 2008 (AFP) – Gulf central bank chiefs decided on Sunday to stick to their target date of 2010 for a single currency and did not discuss revaluing their dollar-pegged currencies against the tumbling greenback, officials said.

“We are committed to the decision taken by the (Gulf Cooperation Council) summit that 2010 is the date to achieve a monetary union,” Qatar central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani told reporters in Doha.

He was speaking after a meeting of the central bank governors of GCC member states Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“We are seeking to remove obstacles… We are all working for one target date, which is 2010,” Sheikh Abdullah added.

The leaders of the oil-rich Gulf bloc decided during a summit in Qatar in December to stick to the 2010 deadline, but doubts about whether they can meet the target grew after Kuwait unilaterally dropped its currency’s link to the US dollar last May and opted for a basket of currencies, and Oman said it would not join the scheme.

GCC member states, hit by high inflation, have yet agree on an inflation target, although they have agreed on other prerequisites for a monetary union, including the ratio