(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) South Korea's central bank has agreed with its Chinese counterpart to use the existing bilateral currency swap line in boosting trade settlement in the two countries' currencies, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported Tuesday.
The Bank of Korea said it will lend money to commercial banks by tapping the currency swap and local firms will be able to use the funds in a trade settlement with Chinese firms, accordi8ng to the report. The move will take effect starting in mid-December.
In October of last year, South Korea and China agreed to double their won-yuan swap line to CNY 360 billion (USD 57.8 billion) in a bid to secure foreign exchange liquidity.
"The move will help expand the use of the won and the yuan by facilitating trade settlement and could pave the way for making the existing currency swap line a de facto permanent facility," the central bank said. It added that the move would help reduce companies' exposure to currency risks and transaction costs as well as ease external vulnerability by decreasing reliance on major reserve currencies.
The move also came as part of Seoul's efforts to internationalize its currency by reducing heavy reliance on the dollar and better cope with risks from external turmoil.
Following the 2008 global financial crisis, emerging countries have been scurrying to build up a strong financial safety net to prevent offshore financial crises from spreading into the region.
The level of financial cooperation between South Korea and China remains in the infant stage, compared with their close relationship in trade. China is South Korea's No. 1 trading partner and the two nations are in talks over a free trade pact.